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What Caused the Late Bronze Age Collapse?
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If you go back about 3500 years ago, the Late Bronze Age was going pretty smoothly with big, fairly stable civilizations / empires in the Fertile Crescent, Egypt, and Greece.

Before the fall

But around 1200 B.C. most everything fell apart, leading to a dark age out of which eventually emerged a new Iron Age civilization. For example, the Trojan War was so famous in Greece subsequently because it was a glamorous late event in a high Bronze Age civilization that had shortly afterwards declined. It was the writing down of the Homeric epics about the Trojan War several hundred years later that marked the revival of related-but-new high civilization in Greece.

Here’s an interview with GWU professor Eric H. Cline promoting his book 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed.

What Caused The Mysterious Bronze Age Collapse?

May 20, 2015

written by James Wiener

Cline downplays the famous but mysterious Sea People who fought the Egyptians in 1177 BC as a chief cause.

… Of these, I would rank them in that specific order of importance: climate change; drought and famine; earthquakes; invaders; and internal rebellions. Although human beings have survived such catastrophes time and again when they come individually, such as rebuilding after an earthquake or living through a drought, what if they all occurred at once, or in quick succession?

But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.

 
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  1. Mr. Anon says:

    OT: Trump’s Luck strikes again:

    Immigrant Riots in Sweden

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    we should start a movement:refugee status for young Swedish women!
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  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Steve, are you going to be writing an article defending Milo against the anti-free speech people at CPAC who are preventing him from speaking there?

    Read More
    • Troll: G Pinfold
    • Replies: @snorlax
    Yeah, it's Fake News; they deceptively edited his statements from several different podcasts together to smear him. It's very much like the whole Shirley Sherrod imbroglio* but ideologically-reversed.

    *Also Breitbart-related, ironically.
    , @trilobite
    interesting to hear Steve's views on pedophilia.
  3. Mr. Anon says:

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.

    I don’t think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I read several places that by the end of the empire the Romans had a hard time recruiting Roman citizens into the army. People became risk-averse, and even though soldiers' pay didn't decrease at all, nobody was willing to sign up any more. So they had to hire barbarians. Some people (like Greg Cochran) think it was selection: Romans domesticated themselves, and then they couldn't fight wars anymore.

    Ethnically speaking, the Roman empire was a big melting pot, most of the population of the late Western Empire spoke Latin and considered themselves Romans (in fact, all Latin speaking peoples called themselves Romans, and were called by others as such, which is why Romanians are called Romanians), and even some of the non-Latin speaking peoples (like the Brits) were unhappy to see the empire go. Everyone realized how much safety and order the empire provided for them, and how much better it was at organizing things than the barbarian kingdoms that replaced it.

    Even the Germanic barbarians weren't homogeneous (Goths were probably quite different from Franks), but then you had other barbarians, of whom Slavs might've resembled Germanics a bit, but the Huns definitely didn't look like any of those.
    , @Federalist
    "Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people."

    Uh oh.
    , @eD
    The Western Roman empire was "overrun" by its own army.

    The Romans first started recruiting exclusively among the Germans, then started recruiting entire German tribes in the Roman army. As the Roman currency collapsed, they were paid in land. The Emperor became a figurehead, and then the position was abolished for being worthless. The Eastern Empire was able to stop the rot in time.
    , @Jon Halpenny
    I read one time a late Roman writer remarked that the Germans were fearsomely armed. Apparently, a Germanic warrior could cut a horse in half with his huge broadsword.

    Given the Germans tended to be larger than the Romans they may have had both a physical and technological advantage over the Romans.
    , @KA
    "Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people."

    I agree with you but I am more exclusively focused on the "old tired"- the mature part - the life that has wealth luxury and time for idle gossip. When citizenry is mostly made of this , it is difficult for the empire to move forward giving rise to other "empire or wanna be empire " a leg up

    Harppan civilization vanished under barbarians Aryan invasion .

    Moorish Spain buckled under because it wont fight the same way it had fought against local kings before .
    America could not win in Iraq and Afghanistan because it wont fight the way it fought the Native Americans and Philippines anymore .

    Britsh India won against local because most of the time ferocity and eagerness shown by British were not matched by the locals.


    But was not the promise of after life luxury itself once promoted to recruit uninterested Greek youth to join the war against other ? To them as so many other back at that time -death meant slow decomposition of great body underneath the ground and devouring of it by insects or dogs . Why try to bring it forward ?
    Why bother if you got the luxurious life already ?

    Even today we worship warrior as hero We have created an image of them on TV on billboards we remember them in hotel in airport in school at college in restaurant. Part of the reason is that we want to share with them the worldly aspect of the sacrifice . They are mythologized on TV screen and theater . We bring our experts on everything from the military . Fight and meaningful fight are secondary . Then is the corruption. If corruption could wreck military in other countries and in different times , it could wreck the fighting morale as well in any time and space . The failures lies in the success also when we out of habit use the previous successful formula - either out of laziness or out to score a point over the rival or out of lack of better more relevant logic ( Like we bring WW2 ,Chamberlain and Churchill all the time nowadays more son since 2003 or invoke Hitler to get citizen to war ) The failures have many sources before final collapse
    , @TheJester
    Rome ... Britain ... France ... Belgium ... Netherlands ... USA

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.
     
    Historically, at first, the capitals of empires tend to benefit from imperial conquest with respect to trade and resources. However, at some point, the tables turn on the empires as the imperial conquests financially "eat" the seats of imperial power; that is, the empires can no longer afford their empires and undergo a financial collapse of one kind or another.

    Lacking weak or non-existence borders within their empires, it is also often the case that the seats of imperial power are finally overcome with immigrants from their imperial conquests. At that point, if the seat of imperial power was a nation state, it also ceases to exist.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    The Egyptians were never conquered by the Hittites. The closest the Hittites ever got to Egypt was Kadesh. Are you thinking of the Hyskos? But they only occupied northern Egypt and for a relatively short period.

    Heavy cavalry was a military innovation that gave barbarians a big, albeit temporary, advantage over the Roman empires. The Byzantines acknowledged this by adopting the innovation as their cataphracts.
    , @cipher
    "Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people."

    A very good example of how that process played-out in the modern era can be found here: http://i.imgur.com/dRG9jcu.jpg
  4. Anon says: • Disclaimer
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    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    To the MSM:

    "Tu es Charlie."
    , @Peter Akuleyev
    But Hannity is the press, and Fox News is the mainstream media, if you go by ratings. It would make more sense to say "the elite press" has declared war on Donald Trump. And so what. The people who read the NYT and Washington Post are never going to like Trump.
  5. 5371 says:

    That’s what J. Drews argued decades ago. As usual, though, the thesis is more about a new kind of organisation than just a change in weaponry. But to put it very briefly, advancements in mobile infantry put an end to the bronze age.

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  6. AKAHorace says:

    There is a tendency for historians to put present problems into their interpretations of the past. Now it is climate change, an earlier example is “the March of folly” in which a range of political bad choices from the fall of Troy are compared with the Vietnam war.

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    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Thomas Fuller
    Extreme weather is fingered by some as the prime cause of famine and whatnot in the 6th century, so the proposition of an earlier catastrophe, such as a volcanic eruption, is certainly one worth considering.

    Here's an article in Nature, FWIW:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080311/full/news.2008.665.html

    Another explanation is that the Bronze Agers metamorphosed into cranks, loony SJWs as it were, who wasted their time erecting henges and worshipping idols while Conan and his chums looked greedily down upon them from the hills – and when the time was right did what barbarians always do, as we see today among the hapless Beaker Folk of Sweden.
    , @AndrewR
    A cursory reading of history shows that climate changes have had enormous effects on humans (and pre-humans) going back to the dawn of life.

    The debate over anthropogenic climate change in the current year and the appropriate responses to it has become needlessly politicized, but climate changes have been of undeniable, immense importance in human history.
    , @Desiderius
    Sea People's looking pretty timely.
  7. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    So is it time to review how we see “barbarians”, especially of Germanic origin?

    Our intellectuals tell us they were terribly backward people. But there seems to be more to the story.

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    • Replies: @anon
    i think the key is "barbarians" can be backward in many areas but - partly as a result of being barbarians - might have an edge in military tech
    , @Autochthon
    Remember that barbarians were not primarily defined by their being backward, but rather their being other. The term itself comes of ancient Greek onomatopoeia: these were people who (unlike those from other Greek city-states) did not speak Greek, and so when they did speak all a Greek heard was "bar bar bar." I had a friend who hated it when I spoke Spanish because he didn't understand it, so whenever I spoke Spanish he would derisively say "Nachos del grande!" The idea of barbarians has a similar origin in annoyance and disdain by the autochthonous Greeks. With that stuff in mind, the idea of being overrun by barbarians is as relevant to the current U.S.A. (and the West generally) as it was to the Romans or the empires overrun by the Sea People.
  8. slumber_j says:

    And on-topic: yes, that sounds about right to me. Look at how much better people got at stuff after the Bronze Age. It feels like a genetic mutation or two made good.

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  9. D. K. says:
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    • Replies: @Anon
    Bronze Age collapse sea people

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjuZjHpxUWQ&t=358s
  10. Glossy says: • Website

    It seems that the Sea Peoples, who caused the collapse by invading the centers of civilization, came from Greece and Italy. Why do invasions like that happen when they happen is difficult to say. Why did the Viking Age happen, the Arab invasions of the 7th century, the Germanic invasions of the 5th century, the Mongol invasion, the Huns’ invasion? Sometimes tribal groups rise up and start raiding.

    Maybe a strong personality united them for a while. We just don’t know who the Sea People’s Ghinghis Khan/Mohammed figure was because they didn’t leave any records. Maybe there were other reasons.

    Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God’s wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything.

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    • Agree: Peter Akuleyev, TWS
    • Replies: @27 year old
    >Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God’s wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything

    Hilarious, but class struggle is actually the best way to explain everything.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    I recommend reading the book in question. The author very specifically does not suggest that any one cause was responsible for the international collapse of civilization that took place around and just after 1200 BC. In particular he makes a powerful case that it's impossible to establish a causal link between the appearance of the "Sea Peoples" and the ultimate collapse. He does believe that climate change and its adverse impact on agriculture played a role but that climate change was not alone sufficient to explain the collapse and was only one of many factors.

    The author's chief point is that the late Bronze age civilization of the eastern Mediterranean, the Levant, Egypt, and Anatolia bore some striking resemblances to our current globalist civilization. It was highly advanced and sophisticated. The nation states that it comprised were linked by a complex of political and mercantile ties. The elites shared common interests that were maintained via a sophisticated diplomatic system. To its elites and even its most humble inhabitants the system appeared to be an eternal and indestructible marvel.

    Yet within fifty years the system was reduced to barbaric chaos. Governments were overthrown by internal rebellions and invasions. Nation states and empires collapsed into feudal fiefdoms. Cities were reduced to uninhabited rubble. Technologies were lost, infrastructure disintegrated, literacy disappeared and whole systems of writing became indecipherable to this day. Art and architecture except of the most primitive nature ceased to exist.

    Anyone reading the book is left with a sense that a similar concatenation of disasters could reduce our current civilization in much the same way. I think one of the the author's primary intentions was to make his readers aware of this possibility.
    , @Jimmy
    The 'Sea Peoples' beeing Aegean/Helladic pirates is preposterous, since they had a central government in Mycenes and it had records we find even today and it doesn't mention piracy, neither found in the Homeric lore.

    This assumption will crumble especially seeing the Ekwesh rendered as Achaeans (Peloponnesian Greeks) were circumcized like Israelites which we know the Achaeans were not.
  11. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    Where does the degeneracy end? Maybe we need our own "Sea Peoples" invasion to let dignity be restored to the people.
    , @Mark Spahn (West Seneca, NY)
    This 1-minuted political advocacy ad is discredited by its very last graphic image: an incorrect toilet-paper-role orientation.
    , @TBA
    I thought this was a joke, but apparently this organization is real (and ACLU approved):
    https://www.ipeewithlgbt.org/

    BTW, separate lavatories are obviously discriminatory to everyone except hermaphrodites. So what?
  12. snorlax says:
    @Anonymous
    Steve, are you going to be writing an article defending Milo against the anti-free speech people at CPAC who are preventing him from speaking there?

    Yeah, it’s Fake News; they deceptively edited his statements from several different podcasts together to smear him. It’s very much like the whole Shirley Sherrod imbroglio* but ideologically-reversed.

    *Also Breitbart-related, ironically.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Zach
    Actually Milo defends himself here:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OxQD1nZIAJE
    , @Anonymous
    There's no editing. There are two different podcasts, and you can listen to them straight through and it's the same content as that alleged in the news stories.
  13. Zach says:
    @snorlax
    Yeah, it's Fake News; they deceptively edited his statements from several different podcasts together to smear him. It's very much like the whole Shirley Sherrod imbroglio* but ideologically-reversed.

    *Also Breitbart-related, ironically.

    Actually Milo defends himself here:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OxQD1nZIAJE

    Read More
  14. By coincidence I was lunching with my sister this afternoon, talking about this and that and the whole social question, and we got to one of those “what is the world coming to?” moments in the conversation.

    “Are you familiar with the Hyksos Period in Egypt?” I asked her. She said that she was. “Well, that’s what it’s coming to.”

    The arrival of the Sea People, whoever they were, was very much incidental to social disintegration in Egypt at the close of the XII dynasty. What the time of the Hyksos really signifies is a condition of rootless cosmopolitanism and advanced civic decay very similar to our own. It was a century-long period of misrule by upstarts, lunatics, and irreligious brigands who set out to destroy every semblance of order in the kingdom. It is telling that the youth of the Egyptian cities (the special snowflakes of their day) joined with the foreign invaders, while people of obscure origins rose to positions of great wealth and power and trashed the temples and other civic institutions for their own personal satisfaction. Hillary Clinton, the Lying Press, and the pussy-hat marchers are all contemporary equivalents of the Hyksos.

    It is encouraging that the campaign from Thebes was eventually able to expel them and return some vestige of Egyptian civilization in the form of the New Kingdom.

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    • Replies: @athEIst
    Good post, but the term rootless cosmopolitan is taken.
    Rootless cosmopolitan was a pejorative label used during the anti-Semitic campaign in the Soviet Union after World War II. Cosmopolitans were intellectuals who were accused of expressing pro-Western feelings and lack of patriotism. The term "rootless cosmopolitan" referred to Jewish intellectuals. It was popularized during the campaign in a Pravda article ….
    more at wiki.
  15. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Sea Peoples are nothing compared to dangers we face today.

    Sea Peoples were invasive and destructive, but they had the genetic potential to build civilization.

    It’s like Germanic, Celts, and Turks could be invasive and destroy stuff all over… but they also could build upon the destruction and invasion. Germanic folks later built civilization. So did the Turkics. And Celtics.

    In contrast, black Africans have not proven civilizational capability.

    Europeans Europeanize wherever they go. Asians Asianize. Arabs Arabize. Hindus hinduize.
    Some build civilizations better than others. White Europeans have demonstrated best ability to build and make progress.
    Africans have proven they have the least ability to build stuff. Africanization is mostly destructive.

    So, African takeover of Europe will be totally different from Germanic Barbarian conquests or even Turkic or Moorish invasions.
    It will spell the end of civilization, a permanent Detroitization of the world. A Europe that is Africanized is finished forever. It will not be a dark age followed by new beginning. It will be permanent dark age… like most of black Africa.

    In the end, it’s not about ‘liberal democracy’ or some such. Sure, liberal democracy is nice, but what really makes a system work is a combination of race/genes, culture, values, work ethic, manners, habits, and attitudes.

    Consider some of the Bio-Cultural Ruling Systems:

    Anglocratic
    Germanocratic(includes Scandinavia and is close to Anglocracy)
    Judeocratic
    Slavocratic
    Latinocratic
    Sinocratic(of which even Japan may be a part)
    Arabocratic
    Indocratic(hindu stuff)
    Afrocratic

    I would argue that Anglocracy without democracy will work better than Afrocracy with democracy. Anglocracy is a system of rule by sober, serious, intelligent, and well-mannered peoples(before UK allowed the yobs to run wild). Consider Hong Kong. Under most of British rule, it was no democracy.
    It was Anglocratic in terms of elite rule. And most of society was Sinocratic, managed by Chinese as middlemen and workers. And it worked. How did it work without ‘liberal democracy’? Cuz Anglocracy was clean and efficient, and Sinocracy was sober and hardworking. Singapore was also the result of fusion of Anglocracy and Sinocracy.
    And even today, Singapore is not a liberal democracy. But things run well there cuz Sinocracy, though not very innovative, is serious and intelligent.

    Now, I’m not knocking liberal democracy. But the REAL reason why one system works and another doesn’t has MORE to do with combo of genes, values, work ethic, manners, and attitudes.
    In the 19th century, France was sometimes ‘democratic’ whereas Germany was ruled by imperial system. And yet, Germans surged ahead, even surpassing UK in industry and many academic/scientific fields. How was that possible when Germany didn’t have liberal democracy? Cuz its Germanocratic virtues were harder version of Anglocracy.

    Israel proves that Judeocracy works very well too.

    Indocracy is a mixed bag cuz of caste legacy and genetic diversity of India. It works in some ways, in other ways it’s a mess.

    But Afrocracy? You can instruct Africans in all the liberal democratic theories around the world. It won’t do much good. African genetics leads to Africanization of society. And African manners, temperament, and etc lead to social chaos, though I don’t mind when they talk about how homos ‘eat da poo poo’.

    Now, compare Anglocracy vs Latinocracy.

    Some will say US made more progress cuz of liberal democracy whereas Latin America came later to democracy. But really?
    Is democracy really such a charm? But Mexico in late 19th century was democratic whereas Germany wasn’t. Yet, Germany did so much more. And Japan, though undemocratic, achieved more than Mexico from late 19th century to WWII era.

    And compare US vs Argentina. The latter had so much potential and had democracy, but why did it lag? Latins ruled with their attitudes and styles. It will build and maintain civilization, but not a very efficient and sober one.

    I would argue that even if the Brits had won the war and American Independence has been crushed, the US under Anglocratic rule(of British) would have achieved nearly just as much.

    Slavocracy? Russia existed for much much longer than the US. And it had many more people than the US in the 19th century. But in short time, Anglos swept across the continent and created a great powerful nation. In contrast, Russians were still digging dirt on the same plot like they’d been for many centuries. Russians then went for communist revolution. It too failed. Why? Cuz Anglocracy has a great combo of order and individuality. It empowers each person as a free agent. But it also instills order and unity and common purpose. In contrast, Slavocratic model was to treat people like cattle, either as serfs or comrades. So, the sense of initiative and responsibility didn’t develop in the Russian heart and mind.
    But one good thing about Slavocratic heaviness is greater sense of roots and belonging. In contrast, the Mercurean mobility of Anglocracy may have led to too much atomization and deracination in the end. Of course, Anglocrats of the past understood this danger. This is why they balanced out their globo-mobility with British patriotism, loyalty to Queen, Anglican Church, and race-ism. As Anglocrats were high-spiritedly moving all around the world, there was the danger of becoming one with the natives. So, race-ism was necessary to maintain British unity and uniqueness. And it was good for the natives too since white race-ism meant white men were discouraged from sexually exploiting the native womenfolks. In contrast, the Latinocrats led to much more sexual abuse of local womenfolk in other lands. Hopkins has impressive race-ist attitude in THE BOUNTY. Good man.

    Judeocracy is very formidable but complicated. Jews have so long operated by latching onto OTHER peoples that one wonders how it would do on its own. Israel is such an experiment, but even it is heavily dependent on the support of great powers. So, the jury is still out on the true power of Judeocracy as an independent ruling system.

    Slavocratic model:

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    • Agree: Romanian
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Hell of a post, anon!
    , @Romanian
    I like your attempt to reason with the various systems. Where would you place the Eastern Europeans? As their own group, or divided by their different cultures?
  16. Glossy says: • Website

    By the way, here’s an Egyptian relief showing a Sherden soldier, a member of the Sea Peoples:

    That’s the earliest realistic representation of the European facial type that I’m aware of. The Sherden were either from Sardinia, or invaded Sardinia in the ~1200 BC mayhem, giving it their name.

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    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    That looks like Colonel Bigeard - he's even wearing a beret!
    , @CK
    I think it bears a striking resemblance to Montgomery of Alamein.
    , @ogunsiron
    Eastern baltic nose profile, but that's is pretty far from Sardinia.
  17. David says:

    I like the theory that the development/introduction of iron smelting caused the value of bronze to collapse which in turned caused a breakdown in long distance trade. Before, little essentially symbolic ax heads of bronze circulated like coins. Iron is no good for that because once you know how to make it, it has little scarcity value. Tin is very scarce and copper is pretty scarce relative to iron.

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    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    David, your theory has traction.

    Steve, a former engineering technology professor of mine who also had a Masters degree in history, pointed out the fallacy in the iron weapons superior to bronze leading to civilization collapse theory. It is this.

    Work-hardened bronze is superior in every way to primitive cast iron as a material for weapons.

    Too many of us confuse bronze with brass or copper. Just because your copper house wire is relatively flexible doesn't mean that all copper alloys are. And, have you noticed that the more you bend the wire around and through studs and joists, the more difficult it is to bend? That's work hardening. Whereas iron gets soft when bent repeatedly, bronze gets harder, so primitive smiths just banged on it a lot to toughen it up.

    I tried to cut threads into bronze alloy rods with which I was fastening ballast onto the bottom of a boat I was building. And gave up. I took them to a machine shop. The bronze alloy I had selected was so tough I couldn't cut it by hand, even with brand new HSS taps and dies.

    Because of the way it was smelted, early iron had so much carbon in it that it was brittle. While it may have been cheap and abundant, it didn't make a superior weapon to bronze. Brittle stuff shatters upon impact; it's hard, really hard, but not tough. A man armed with a bronze tipped spear or sword would not have been at any disadvantage against one armed with primitive iron. (Note that I say "primitive" because now we know how to exclude much of the carbon iron takes up during smelting and can make carbon steels that are fantastically strong, hard and tough).

    As David says, bronze is relatively scarce compared to iron (which is after all, one of the most abundant elements in the Earth's crust, so much so that all those colors used in paleo cave paintings are "rust" colored. Artists call them earth pigments, Raw and burnt umber, siennas, English and Venetian Red etc. are just clays with a high iron content) and so bronze is a "noble" metal not only because it is scarce, but also because it lasts. Just look at the condition of the statues that have been exhumed from Ancient Greek sites.

    Even today, bronze hardware aboard a yacht is, in spite of its dull patina, more valued and more expensive than the shiniest stainless steel. Though, as ever, the ignorant masses are blinded by shiny reflections and are easily misled by glitz and glitter, a real sailor disdains gaudy stainless steel for far more elitist (and expensive) bronze.

    On the other hand, there is the curious legend that the most conservative Greek city-state, Sparta, retained iron as the base of their currency. To avoid contamination by the corrupting influence of their degenerate neighbors, the Spartans wouldn't accept gold, silver or bronze as mediums of trade and anyone caught hoarding them was punished. So while this may be an exaggeration, it may be an echo of the invasion Steve is talking about. The legacy of a iron-girt warrior cult dedicated to conquering and its fear of losing its identity by assimilation with the people they conquered.

    So maybe the iron people won out not because of (primitive) iron's superiority to bronze as an edged weapon, but rather because, due to iron's relative abundance, hoards of invaders could be armed who then overran those civilizations in which only the nobility could afford to arm themselves with bronze.

    The old civilization was hierarchical and ascribed to each class an element, gold, silver and bronze (iron wasn't even on the map). Plato's use of this scheme in The Republic is a relic of this and evidence that though conquered the old civilization resurfaced and came to rule the new Rulers. Just as we say, "First Rome conquered Greece and then Greece conquered Rome" so too did the old nobility of the Bronze Age civilization eventually prevail.
  18. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @snorlax
    Yeah, it's Fake News; they deceptively edited his statements from several different podcasts together to smear him. It's very much like the whole Shirley Sherrod imbroglio* but ideologically-reversed.

    *Also Breitbart-related, ironically.

    There’s no editing. There are two different podcasts, and you can listen to them straight through and it’s the same content as that alleged in the news stories.

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    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    No, its not. Its obvious he was talking about his own relationship in the podcast versus the smear by the media (and CTR trolls like yourself) that he was defending pedophilia.

    This is all part of a larger left wing media hit on Milo. 4Chan posted about this before it happened, and so far its been going down as anon said it would.
  19. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    I’ve always thought it had to do with a big earthquake, or one of the various eruptions of Thera. We know an eruption of Thera wiped out the Minoan civilization, and an eruption associated with a big earthquake would have been a disaster for any early civilization. A tsunami could easily have flooded and wiped out every port city around the Mediterranean basin, and a tsunami wave will force its way up rivers and cause them to run backwards, and swell enough to create sudden, massive floods. Early cities of any size had to have an easily reachable source of drinking water for their populations, so they are normally located on rivers. This means you have a lot of vulnerable people who are going to be killed when a tsunami comes rushing in.

    I’ve read Cline’s book (and think it’s pretty boring, frankly, though the subject is interesting), and he mentions many of the archaeological ruins look like they’ve been burned, and he guesses they were burned in warfare. However, us moderns tend to forget that back then every house had a hearth fire burning all the time. If a big earthquake hits, it’s going to collapse a lot of houses, which means a lot of debris is going to be landing right in the flames of all those hearth fires, and some of that debris (wooden roof beams, etc.,) is flammable. In other words, it’s not possible to have an earthquake in an environment like that without a lot of burning of the ruins after the earthquake has done its damage.

    The depredations of Sea Peoples look to me like desperate survivors trying to figure out how they can live after the disaster, and they’ve chosen piracy. It just so happens that if you have an earthquake and tsunami, the people who survive are likely to be fishermen or traders out on the sea in boats. Your boat will ride right over a tsunami wave, and you might not even notice the swell. Then once you return home you would have been stunned to find your city completely destroyed, and maybe your entire family, too. It’s pretty easy to turn pirate if you already own an undamaged boat, and the few people you find who are still alive to assist you in your new career are also seamen who were out on the water at the time of the disaster.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    "I’ve always thought it had to do with a big earthquake, or one of the various eruptions of Thera."

    Today, the tremors that uproot the new Sea Peoples are caused by the bombs and drones of the Air People.

    US power is the Air People might.
    Air People fly all over and bomb all lands and create havoc all over... like in Libya.

    So, after Air People bombed Libya, it led to political earthquake that let loose tons of Sea People into EU.

    Land People(most of us) of 'flyover country' are squeezed between Air People who loom over the world and drop globalist bombs that cause tremors that let loose Sea Peoples to invade and conquer.
    , @Chriscom
    Glad I wasn't the only one who thought that book was boring - - a lot of it anyway, and I was fascinated by the subject. It's not a total washout. For example the correspondence between poor kings and rich kings where the former say to the latter look, I know you have a lot of gold, how can I get some of that gold? Maybe you can give me some?
  20. Bruce says:

    There are Periclean tombstones showing something like clumsy skateboards, according to Man the Maker, Forbes. It would be cool if that’s what swift-footed Achilles used at Troy. And why didn’t the ancient Egyptians invent the trading velocipede and conquer the world? Slackers.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Bruce, There is a TV show called "Ancient Aliens", where every advance by civilized man is attributable to Space Beings. Any structure on some distant island that included smooth surfaced stones or any Inca or Aztec pyramid had to be the work of space aliens using lasers and levitation beams. Of course, the glorious, soaring Cathedrals of Europe with 140' high naves, flying buttresses, bronze bells, in 200 foot high bell towers, copper roofs, gutters and drains and stain glass windows, well they're not as cool as Machu Pichu, even though the were built centuries prior by European craftsmen who left written plans and drawings of their work. And one more thing, 3 dimensional statues are way cooler than bas relief carvings.
  21. Whiskey says: • Website

    I’ve read the book, a few years ago, and looked at the map. The ONLY empire that did not completely fall was the Egyptian, and they had to retreat halfway up the Nile. To me that screams it was the Sea Peoples.

    Volcanoes, “Climate change,” etc would not disrupt trade routes completely, and yet that is what happened. They just … ended. Everything. As well as cities, towns, and villages simply vanishing in charcoal and debris, and not being rebuilt.

    The Ottomans when they conquered Constantinople did not tear it down and make it just ash, to be a desert. They rebuilt. And cities and towns similarly situated, on the confluence of rivers, or port anchorages, and so on were destroyed. All the way from Greece down to modern day Iraq and Iran on the Persian Gulf. It seems a great army of people was on the move, some by sea, some by land. Those on Crete moved far inland, into the deep mountains of the center of the island, where it snows often and there is little food. That is just like the behavior of Europeans on the Med and southern Atlantic from around 700 AD until the Barbary Pirates (Muslims) were conquered in the 1830s.

    The Vikings had their longboats, shallow draft boats that could navigate in only two feet of water, could be portaged around obstacles that were not too difficult, and could sail in the open ocean. The Mongols had their composite bows and ponies, which however bogged down in a European winter and fall full of mud and sleet and rain (causing said composite bows to split apart). The Sea Peoples according to the only surviving accounts, from the Egyptians, seemed to have merely overwhelming numbers and the desert on both sides of the Nile allowed a retreat well up it without being outflanked.

    The Muslim/African invasion of Europe is the same. Overwhelming numbers. I presume, in a battle for Europe that turns hot and violent, the story will be huge numerical advantages vs. huge killing advantages. Muslims own most cities but that is a very bad place to be in War; and imagine swarms of networked hunter-killer drones, autonomous killer robots, and custom bio-weapons tailored to DNA markers. Not to mention undoubtedly a comeback for poison gas, quite effective in cities I imagine. In short the 21st Century will be even bloodier if that was possible than the last. All avoidable save elites bringing in ringers to settle Scandinavian ethnic scores against Celts and Saxons and Latins; and women equal to their men who cannot forgive that insult.

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    All avoidable save elites bringing in ringers to settle Scandinavian ethnic scores against Celts and Saxons and Latins; and women equal to their men who cannot forgive that insult.

    Your comic timing improves Whiskey! This time you waited until the very end to unveil the punchline.

    , @IA

    Muslims own most cities
     
    No way. They live outside cities throughout Europe. They have recently made a few inroads like near Gare du Nord in Paris and Stalingrad Metro but that's a small area of the city. Muslims have virtually no representation in city government employees and politicos, unions or corporations.
  22. Weapons are not always mineral. Weapons may also be vegetable or animal.

    Yet weapons, barbarian or not, need not be the chief cause of civilizational demise.

    One group’s higher fertility amassing toward demographic replacement is a weapon. So is direct mass migration, armed or unarmed. And migrations often trigger exodus migrations of put-upon host civilizations. Did some migrations meet their extinction at dead end destinations?

    Did plague spread and bring down the Bronze Age? Did famine starve great numbers of people?

    For one example, Minoan civilization vanished suddenly, most likely from earthquake and tsunami at the eruption of the volcano on Thera (now Santorini).

    Read More
    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Auntie, Very good, germs have killed more than atomic bombs and conventional bombs, actually more than any weapon.
  23. Wasn’t the important impact of iron that it was readily available, so that even the commoners could use it for weapons, and it doomed the elite warrior/aristocracy classes?

    One man’s fall of civilization is another man’s liberation from tyranny.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    candid, I don't know how readily available iron is/was. Germany fought WWI and WWII using iron ore mostly from Sweden. As far as I know no Amerindians on either American continent produced iron implements. European explorers discovered people in the Americas that were basically still in the stone age using flint, bone or stone weapons and implements.
  24. Whiskey says: • Website

    Anon, looking at the map, and help me out if I missed something, modern day Iraq (Babylon) and Iran (Elam) are nowhere near the Med. Nor would they be affected much by volcanoes or earthquakes in the Med. A rampaging set of invaders who don’t even rebuild conquered cities, Mad Max style?

    Yeah that I can buy. When/ If ISIS takes over Paris (probably a slam dunk) they’d just burn the place down and live in the mud. That’s what they are (and what basically Muslims are now — not even the Caliphs and Sultans of old anymore).

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    A tablet discovered in an archeological excavation of an ancient Near East city at the level pertaining to the time of the invasion of the Peoples of the Sea has just been translated:

    Our women HATE HATE HATE the beta males who built and maintain this city, but think that those Sea People men are real studs!

  25. Achilles says:

    In the Odyssey, Odysseus refers to going on viking-style raids, apparently to Egypt.

    Most likely is that the maritime raiding skills honed in the years-long Trojan War sparked a period of ship-borne raids throughout the Eastern Mediterranean by Greeks and others.

    Something like a Viking Age in which any civilization within reach of being attacked suddenly by a fleet of ships carrying raiders was burned and looted with lots of killings and rapes.

    The later Viking Age was a period of tremendous turmoil for the victimized areas from Britain to Ireland to France even to Sicily. No reason why an earlier time of sea-raiding would not also be tumultuous.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "Most likely is that the maritime raiding skills honed in the years-long Trojan War sparked a period of ship-borne raids throughout the Eastern Mediterranean by Greeks and others."

    If there was indeed a protracted war involving something called Troy........that is quite possible. Wars often end with armies of footloose men suddenly out of employment. Such mercenary armies were a plague on Europe from the 14th through the 17th century. And free-booters working in the service of European powers in the 17th-18th century were the cause of the piracy of that era.
  26. OT: the NY Times has many strange articles, but this one just struck me as bizarre.

    On the one hand, it contains all manner of verbiage — including its various headlines — that suggest that Trump was talking crazy when he brought up problems in Sweden with immigration. On the other hand, it produces all kinds of information that make it clear that there is a big problem with immigration in Sweden:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/20/world/europe/trump-pursues-his-attack-on-sweden-with-scant-evidence.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @G Pinfold
    And apparently, right on cue, there were riots in the Stockholm exburb of Rinkeby last night. I guess BBQing of cars is an old Viking tradition.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-20/meanwhile-rioting-breaks-out-sweden
  27. @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    I read several places that by the end of the empire the Romans had a hard time recruiting Roman citizens into the army. People became risk-averse, and even though soldiers’ pay didn’t decrease at all, nobody was willing to sign up any more. So they had to hire barbarians. Some people (like Greg Cochran) think it was selection: Romans domesticated themselves, and then they couldn’t fight wars anymore.

    Ethnically speaking, the Roman empire was a big melting pot, most of the population of the late Western Empire spoke Latin and considered themselves Romans (in fact, all Latin speaking peoples called themselves Romans, and were called by others as such, which is why Romanians are called Romanians), and even some of the non-Latin speaking peoples (like the Brits) were unhappy to see the empire go. Everyone realized how much safety and order the empire provided for them, and how much better it was at organizing things than the barbarian kingdoms that replaced it.

    Even the Germanic barbarians weren’t homogeneous (Goths were probably quite different from Franks), but then you had other barbarians, of whom Slavs might’ve resembled Germanics a bit, but the Huns definitely didn’t look like any of those.

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  28. Lot says:

    Civil wars wrecking a state followed by genocidal invasions, often with the guidance of the losers in the civil wars, is how most ancient states and empires ended.

    I’m sure there were plenty of droughts in the 500 years of Bronze Age Greece, but it was only when its cities were burned down and population massacred by the Sea Peoples that they failed to recover. Greece is very mild and full of fish, so it would be the last place to be destroyed by famine.

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  29. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    When you read about those early complex, bureaucratic societies it seems pretty consistent that they had a cultural version of a Malthusian trap, highly susceptible to cost disease and ad-hoc tax farming. Politically the urban governments weren’t stable at all, all it took normally was some ambitious warlord from the hinterlands with a few good men to overthrow whatever hereditary monarch was (badly) managing the place– or the hicks might already be participants in the urban economy and able to overthrow it without making a trip. For more drastic upheaval they’d need to kill all the priests, i.e. the literate population. I wouldn’t discount climate change and saltwater intrusion since that clearly affected Mesopotamia and the water table around the Euphrates– the northern edge of the Persian Gulf used to extend all the way up to Basra.

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  30. Davidski says: • Website

    What Caused the Late Bronze Age Collapse?

    Iron.

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    • Replies: @Cortes
    Seems like a sensible answer.

    The Greek god of smiths, Hephaestus, was usually depicted as lame and if I recall correctly, Robert Graves's take on that was that Bronze Age smiths ran the risk of being hobbled to keep them near the metal source. The near ubiquity of sources of iron possibly made knowledge of smelting and related metalworking much more mobile skills with a great new and superior product. No need to be a member of the charmed circle of courtiers in an ossified Empire when you can set out unique selling points on the circuit of smaller, nimbler, ambitious petty kinglets who know a good thing when they see it...
  31. anon says: • Disclaimer

    Trump needs to pull his head out of his ass and get rid of John Bolton. WTF is this guy doing hanging around? Its as if he were considering Hillary for National Security Advisor.

    But I am mostly a one issue supporter. No more war. Someone needs to remind him that Bolton was a big part of the PNAC.

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  32. G Pinfold says:
    @candid_observer
    OT: the NY Times has many strange articles, but this one just struck me as bizarre.

    On the one hand, it contains all manner of verbiage --- including its various headlines -- that suggest that Trump was talking crazy when he brought up problems in Sweden with immigration. On the other hand, it produces all kinds of information that make it clear that there is a big problem with immigration in Sweden:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/20/world/europe/trump-pursues-his-attack-on-sweden-with-scant-evidence.html

    And apparently, right on cue, there were riots in the Stockholm exburb of Rinkeby last night. I guess BBQing of cars is an old Viking tradition.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-20/meanwhile-rioting-breaks-out-sweden

    Read More
    • Replies: @candid_observer
    Yeah, I think that when Trump said that there was a big problem in Sweden with immigration "yesterday", he just misspoke, meaning to say "tomorrow".

    He does that a lot.
  33. What caused the collapse?
    They forgot Who. They. Were, that diversity was their strength. Rising closed-mindedness, xenophobia and homophobia kept the best ideas and innovations from ever coming into existence!
    There was no brunch or bespoke, artisanal cocktails…
    A brown, proto-Sappho lesbian poet/designer in fact had developed a molded plastic antikytheria mechanism, the iAntikytheria, but she was forced into womb-slavery by the Cronos-patriarchy…
    Just. Wow

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  34. @Anon
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cDcnD4-Zdo

    But Hannity is the press, and Fox News is the mainstream media, if you go by ratings. It would make more sense to say “the elite press” has declared war on Donald Trump. And so what. The people who read the NYT and Washington Post are never going to like Trump.

    Read More
    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @Bill
    It's not really a matter of liking. One of the functions of the established church is to define good guys and bad guys, as a kind of coordination mechanism. The fact that Trump seems to have no allies in the established church is bad for him and risky for the established church. Hannity is just some provincial, rabble-rousing preacher. He isn't a bishop.

    I'm baffled at the failure of the establishment to cut a deal with Trump. Why are they trying to crush him instead?
    , @Travis
    it is upsetting to see the conservative media, in addition to the mainstream media, constantly attacking Trump...often for the same faux reasons the left is critical of Trump. I can no longer read the Wall Street Journal , and the National Review has only gotten worse with Trump derangement syndrome. Not surprised the NY Times is jumping the shark with dozens of Anti-Trump columns each and every day, but it is distressing to see even conservative media did not grant Trump a honeymoon and allow him to get his administration in place before continuing the relentless mindless vitriol against Trump.
  35. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    I've always thought it had to do with a big earthquake, or one of the various eruptions of Thera. We know an eruption of Thera wiped out the Minoan civilization, and an eruption associated with a big earthquake would have been a disaster for any early civilization. A tsunami could easily have flooded and wiped out every port city around the Mediterranean basin, and a tsunami wave will force its way up rivers and cause them to run backwards, and swell enough to create sudden, massive floods. Early cities of any size had to have an easily reachable source of drinking water for their populations, so they are normally located on rivers. This means you have a lot of vulnerable people who are going to be killed when a tsunami comes rushing in.

    I've read Cline's book (and think it's pretty boring, frankly, though the subject is interesting), and he mentions many of the archaeological ruins look like they've been burned, and he guesses they were burned in warfare. However, us moderns tend to forget that back then every house had a hearth fire burning all the time. If a big earthquake hits, it's going to collapse a lot of houses, which means a lot of debris is going to be landing right in the flames of all those hearth fires, and some of that debris (wooden roof beams, etc.,) is flammable. In other words, it's not possible to have an earthquake in an environment like that without a lot of burning of the ruins after the earthquake has done its damage.

    The depredations of Sea Peoples look to me like desperate survivors trying to figure out how they can live after the disaster, and they've chosen piracy. It just so happens that if you have an earthquake and tsunami, the people who survive are likely to be fishermen or traders out on the sea in boats. Your boat will ride right over a tsunami wave, and you might not even notice the swell. Then once you return home you would have been stunned to find your city completely destroyed, and maybe your entire family, too. It's pretty easy to turn pirate if you already own an undamaged boat, and the few people you find who are still alive to assist you in your new career are also seamen who were out on the water at the time of the disaster.

    “I’ve always thought it had to do with a big earthquake, or one of the various eruptions of Thera.”

    Today, the tremors that uproot the new Sea Peoples are caused by the bombs and drones of the Air People.

    US power is the Air People might.
    Air People fly all over and bomb all lands and create havoc all over… like in Libya.

    So, after Air People bombed Libya, it led to political earthquake that let loose tons of Sea People into EU.

    Land People(most of us) of ‘flyover country’ are squeezed between Air People who loom over the world and drop globalist bombs that cause tremors that let loose Sea Peoples to invade and conquer.

    Read More
    • Replies: @athEIst
    At first I thought
    Land People(most of us) of ‘flyover country’ are squeezed between Air People who loom over the world and drop globalist bombs that cause tremors that let loose Sea Peoples to invade and conquer.
    gibberish.
    at first.......
  36. Stevo, I keep warning you about the English propensity for pederasty and pomposity but you adamantly refuse to notice.

    Americans have been falling in unrequited love with these glib visiting Brits since frontier days. Every time a 19th-c. British author overspent on child prostitutes or laudanum, he or she embarked on an American lecture tour to repair the family finances, following Dickens’ path from one muddy American boomtown to the next. At every stop the author would let the yokels adore him for a few minutes, then retire to make careful notes on the locals’ ignorance, foul table manners and general stupidity for the scathing book to be published once safe in London.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NZ04BG7TfA

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  37. Smarty says:

    It’s better look who became the winners of the Bronze Age collapse, the civillization that prospered right after collapse was the Semitic Phoenicians from the Levant.

    They traded all over the Mediterranean and probably circumnavigated Africa for the Egyptians, their alphabet became the main influence for the Greek, Latin and many other alpahabets, Carthage during the Iron Age was bigger, richer than Athens or Rome for a good period.

    They spoke a language that was very close to Hebrew (probably the same) and if Hannibal (Hanan Baal) had won the Second Punic War the main language of classic antiquity would be the Semitic Phoenician, the Phoenician alphabet is still used by Samaritans in the West Bank in their Torah.

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    • Replies: @Jake
    The child sacrificing Fertility Cult monsters of the Semitic Levant.
    , @Moshe
    The Samaritan alphabet is a derivation as well.

    It looks like a closer derivation than Greek or Modern Hebrew (basically the Palmyra script) but it also has added complexity.

    It's important to note that the earliest surviving examples of the Ancient Semitic alphabet had itself evolved as well. The script that I use is essentially that of the beautifully etched Mesha Stele.
  38. @Anonymous
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k33n-TmM8Sw

    Where does the degeneracy end? Maybe we need our own “Sea Peoples” invasion to let dignity be restored to the people.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius

    Maybe we need our own “Sea Peoples” invasion to let dignity be restored to the people.
     
    Well, you know the saying.

    B students work of C students, and the A students teach.

    So we've already got the C people in charge of much that matters.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Do not summon the Demon. Please, do not summon the Demon.
  39. anon says: • Disclaimer

    yes

    i think the clue is in the name “late bronze age collapse”

    what came after bronze? iron.

    #

    i think the sea peoples were a big part of it but mostly as a domino effect i.e. they were trying to get away from someone else

    when you look at the position of Troy you can easily imagine it was part of a civ that controlled access to the med from the Black Sea – so if part of the sea peoples were from the Black Sea trying to get away from something then they’d need to take out Troy to unblock passage through to the med

    what might they be trying to get away from? steppe pressure maybe or celtic expansion down the danube?

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  40. @AKAHorace
    There is a tendency for historians to put present problems into their interpretations of the past. Now it is climate change, an earlier example is "the March of folly" in which a range of political bad choices from the fall of Troy are compared with the Vietnam war.

    Extreme weather is fingered by some as the prime cause of famine and whatnot in the 6th century, so the proposition of an earlier catastrophe, such as a volcanic eruption, is certainly one worth considering.

    Here’s an article in Nature, FWIW:

    http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080311/full/news.2008.665.html

    Another explanation is that the Bronze Agers metamorphosed into cranks, loony SJWs as it were, who wasted their time erecting henges and worshipping idols while Conan and his chums looked greedily down upon them from the hills – and when the time was right did what barbarians always do, as we see today among the hapless Beaker Folk of Sweden.

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  41. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    So is it time to review how we see "barbarians", especially of Germanic origin?

    Our intellectuals tell us they were terribly backward people. But there seems to be more to the story.

    i think the key is “barbarians” can be backward in many areas but – partly as a result of being barbarians – might have an edge in military tech

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  42. bb. says:

    Julian Jaynes anyone? evolution of consciousness? it is certainly the most intriguing and exciting of all the theories about the collapse

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  43. unit472 says:

    Interesting factoid in the Guardian concerning the cold weather in Southern Europe making produce scarce in Northern Europe. To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.

    In a less complex ancient world you could have something like that going on. Crop failure puts a premium on food supplies which urban elites, having more gold, are able to buy up. The gold is redistributed to the hinterland but, because the rural labor force is starved, it is weakened left vulnerable to disease and unable to resume agricultural production at anything like the prior level. Hick landowners are left with a pot of worthless gold though.

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.
     
    I guess that makes the Scots antifragile in that respect. UK gov. is forever whining at them to change their (admittedly grotesque and primitive) dietary habits, eat up their "5-a-day"salads and fruit like good barbarians, and lay off the Buckfast and deep-fried MarsBars, because it costs the NHS money. They die a decade or more earlier than Home Counties (former Imperial Core territory) English. And they don't care, apparently.
    Lettuce could vanish along with every vegetable on the planet (apart from rutabaga/turnips, each January) and I doubt it would even be noticed in Glasgow. On the other hand, a lard and malting barley shortage would probably finish them off for good.
    , @a Newsreader
    I don't think people are buying lettuce for the calories.
  44. @Glossy
    By the way, here's an Egyptian relief showing a Sherden soldier, a member of the Sea Peoples:

    http://cobalt.rocky.edu/~mark.moak/321sherden.jpg

    That's the earliest realistic representation of the European facial type that I'm aware of. The Sherden were either from Sardinia, or invaded Sardinia in the ~1200 BC mayhem, giving it their name.

    That looks like Colonel Bigeard – he’s even wearing a beret!

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  45. AaronB says:

    Yes, it’s so mystifying what caused the collapse of Bronze Age civilizations. Since the historical record shows that it’s normal for civilizations to endure forever, clearly some catastrophe must have brought about this unique event.

    lol

    Rather, all civilizations are inherently unstable projects that exhaust themselves after a few centuries, because the principle of expansion, growth, and increasing complexity upon which they rest are inherently self-devouring.

    It is weird to find people searching for unique causes for this or that collapse, failing to see their chosen collapse as one in a long series of entirely similar and predictable events.

    The real question is why some civilizations endure so much longer than others, like Egypt and China. The answer is usually that the destabilizing element of egotistic expansion is much reduced.

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    A very good comment. At this juncture it would be a good time to re-read Glubb.

    http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/glubb.pdf
    , @Patrick B
    "The real question is why some civilizations endure so much longer than others, like Egypt and China. The answer is usually that the destabilizing element of egotistic expansion is much reduced."

    Are you seriously this naive? Have you ever hung out with a group of Chinese businessmen - I can't him of people more egotistical or expansionist.
  46. The Bronze Age lasted for a long time, it was about 3000 y.o. at the time of collapse, so one could argue the collapse was due.
    The B.A. probably lasted as long as it did too because trade and tech was passed father to son, and the level of trade and tech was at just such a sweet spot that this modality was optimal.
    But just the right tilting of technology, just the wrong few generations of passing lessons on inefficiently, just the wrong high state of advancement in issuing, recording and enforcing debt, just the lost efficienies of losing too many cities to earthquake and invasion, and just the wrong lack of capacity to replace what was lost, and it’s not hard to imagine system failure and system collapse.
    It really didn’t happen overnight either, just like the western Roman collapse was never so acute as imagined. There was upheaval with the eruption of Thera, the fall of the Minoans to the less advanced Mycaneans, and latter a period of 50 some years of earthquakes and vulcanism before things were hanging by a wire around 1200 BCE. Then followed 500 years of recovery (glass half full, it was a “Dark Age”).

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  47. Weren’t the Biblical Philistines, Sea Peoples? I’ve somehow always thought that the word Philistine was derived somehow from Phoenician, but perhaps I’m wrong. The Philistines are portrayed as simply dreadful by the Bible, but from what I’ve read they were both culturally superior and more interested in getting along with their Hebrew neighbors than were the Hebrews themselves, or at least the Hebrews who wrote the Book of Judges (any accommodation to Philistine deities was totally unacceptable to Yahweh’s priests).

    The taking of Canaan occurred at the transition of the Bronze to the Iron Ages. The Israelites were stopped by the Hittites because the Hittites had weapons of iron.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "The taking of Canaan occurred": there's a school of thought that says it never occurred. The Hebrews were just one bunch of Canaanites who distinguished themselves from the others by adoption of a cult involving food taboos, a foundation mythology, etc. Apparently the archaeology supports that view: no captivity, no exodus, just a bunch of shepherds and bandits in the hills making themselves into a people.
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    The Phillistines wrote (and I assume spoke) an Indo-European language. There is an ongoing debate about their precise origins and how they wound up where they did. Despite the propaganda in the OT, any reader of the Bible has to be aware that relations between the Phillistine city states and their Hebrew neighbors were complex and not always hostile, e.g., the many inter-marriages and other contacts in Judges and the years David's band fought for the Phillistines as layed out in Samuel.
  48. @Anonymous
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k33n-TmM8Sw

    This 1-minuted political advocacy ad is discredited by its very last graphic image: an incorrect toilet-paper-role orientation.

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  49. Women?

    “The axial age polities were stronger because they were more cooperative. Perhaps the new polities became more cooperative by relegating meddlesome women further from power.”

    “Alpha female networks created enough unpredictability that, if they did not bring the alpha male states crashing down they stopped them rising again.”

    “The solution evolution found for aristocratic conspiracies was the secular bureaucracy – a massive fraternal network that was to become the new social glue. With the emergence of the first transnational groups, the world religions, all-male networks largely replaced marriage diplomacy between polities.

    Later all-male political-religious groups like Knights Templar, Jesuits and Assassins formed the hybrid of these two pathways. The end of the palatial states was the end of her-story and the beginning of his-story.”

    http://seshatdatabank.info/the-end-of-her-story/

    At the end of the bronze age there is a structural transition involving the role of powerful women in society with women becoming less powerful afterwards, when more male-only networks and institutions formed.

    Theory is falsifiable if it can be proved there was significant female networking after the bronze age – or if it can be shown their role in societies before the dark age was relatively minor.

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    • Replies: @CK
    Since the turn of the 20th century, the world has witnessed the development of a new herstory. Not the return of powerful queens but the development of bureaucratic female leaders. While the USA has just recently dodged that bullet the rest of the world has not.
    Consider that the Obama administration had no powerful men in its top ranks and was managed by three women. The Trump administration has no women in powerful official positions. What a relief to not have a simpering war monger female as secretary of state.
  50. Rob McX says:

    If we can’t even understand why people are wilfully turning over their countries to invaders now, we don’t have much chance of figuring out the motives for what happened 3000 years ago. People in the year 5000 will have a hard time explaining Merkel.

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    • Replies: @KM32
    If we face a true civilizational collapse, nobody will know the first thing about Merkel. A dark ages now would see the death of billions. There's simply no way to preserve our population and civilization without a lot of complexity from top to bottom. Famously, no one person can even make a pencil these days.
    , @AndrewR
    We do know (((why))) tho...
    , @Citizen of a Silly Country
    Yep. I've made that same point here repeatedly. Even with huge amounts of documentation, future historians will find it very difficult to believe the reasoning behind today's events, especially in Europe. They simply won't believe that advanced, prosperous civilizations purposely allowed in violent, low-IQ religious fanatics bent on destroying the natives.

    Why would they?

    At least the Romans brought in barbarians as slaves or soldiers. Europe's Muslims neither work nor defend Europe. What's happening now is more akin to England and France inviting the Vikings into their countries and offering them welfare to stick around.

    Actually, as Steve has noted, it's probably a bit more like the Irish kings inviting in the Norman knights to help them fight other Irish kings. Short-term gain for long-term pain.
  51. @Whiskey
    Anon, looking at the map, and help me out if I missed something, modern day Iraq (Babylon) and Iran (Elam) are nowhere near the Med. Nor would they be affected much by volcanoes or earthquakes in the Med. A rampaging set of invaders who don't even rebuild conquered cities, Mad Max style?

    Yeah that I can buy. When/ If ISIS takes over Paris (probably a slam dunk) they'd just burn the place down and live in the mud. That's what they are (and what basically Muslims are now -- not even the Caliphs and Sultans of old anymore).

    A tablet discovered in an archeological excavation of an ancient Near East city at the level pertaining to the time of the invasion of the Peoples of the Sea has just been translated:

    Our women HATE HATE HATE the beta males who built and maintain this city, but think that those Sea People men are real studs!

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    • Replies: @Bies Podkrakowski
    Loud LOL
    , @Pericles

    Our women HATE HATE HATE the beta males who built and maintain this city, but think that those Sea People men are real studs!

     

    "Remember us!"
  52. climate change

    Whew, is there anything that can’t be blamed on ‘climate change’? ‘Climate change’ is like original sin, except for liberals.

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  53. Hodag says:

    My favorite theory is The Philistines, of Goliath fame, were the Sea Peoples settled.

    What is strange is the little impact on language of the region. Alexander was a brief phenomenon but Hellanization was a thing. If there was a pulse from the steppe you would expect Turkic or Indo-European languages. But nobody really knows anything.

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    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    The Phillistines appear to have spoken an Indo-European language. All the extant rulers' names appear to be Indo-European.
    , @pyrrhus
    I think that soil erosion, salting from irrigation, and likely a long drought were major causes. They had been farming the same areas for millennia, and we can still see the evidence today...
  54. @bb.
    Julian Jaynes anyone? evolution of consciousness? it is certainly the most intriguing and exciting of all the theories about the collapse

    Is Jaynes’ theory falsifiable?

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    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
    Dunno, but it was still being discussed by consciousness mavens in 2008.
    , @bb.
    playing the old falsifiableness card steve, i see :D
    in all seriousness, i am long interested in that question myself and would like to hear your thoughts on it. Personally I got the point where I am not even certain me, myself exists so..
    Anyway, my interest was renewed these days because it is somewhat build into HBOs new show with Anthony Hopkins, a remake of Westworld. I didn't watch it yet but the idea in short is that the robots adapt to the code in which their A.I. is written and become conscious.
    So the falsifiability could be tested on robots. That, or you can always isolate a group of people, raised in a Westworld-like closed environment by linguists in a reverse engineered, archaic, of metaphor devoid language and see if you can make robots/drones :)
    , @Bill P
    Yes. If bicameralism were the default state prior to about 1,000 BC then there should have been tribes in the New World and Oceania where the people still hadn't developed subjective consciousness when Europeans first ran into them. That doesn't seem to have been the case.

    However, I do think Jaynes was on to something, but he got it backward. The development of civilization and the Bronze Age allowed for such a concentration of resources that leaders could create monuments, temples and rituals that so dominated social consciousness and mores that people experienced a suspension of disbelief. As long as there was an effective state monopoly on technology and wealth this situation could go on indefinitely. However, when efficient ironworking was discovered the abundance and low cost of weapons and tools led to a democratization of technology and a redistribution of wealth, and ultimately contempt for the gods and public works that characterized hierarchical Bronze Age societies. The next step, naturally, was to sack them.

    The religions that emerged after the Bronze Age are notable for relying much less on monuments and kingly power, and more on texts. The idea that God existed in a collection of words rather than in monuments or people was revolutionary at the time. This may be what influenced Jaynes' theory most of all: the contrast between "Obey Giant" societies and those in which one could find the Word of God and the Law merely by opening a scroll.

    The 20th century represents something of a return to popular suspension of disbelief. The Age of Dictators, massive public works, and mass communication are all sort of reminiscent of Bronze Age societies. Even the invocation of the Statue of Liberty (with accompanying inscription) as a moral imperative seems pretty familiar when you consider ancient Egyptian monuments with their inscriptions and steles.
    , @Pericles

    Is Jaynes’ theory falsifiable?

     

    Well, what do your voices tell you?
  55. @Anonymous
    So is it time to review how we see "barbarians", especially of Germanic origin?

    Our intellectuals tell us they were terribly backward people. But there seems to be more to the story.

    Remember that barbarians were not primarily defined by their being backward, but rather their being other. The term itself comes of ancient Greek onomatopoeia: these were people who (unlike those from other Greek city-states) did not speak Greek, and so when they did speak all a Greek heard was “bar bar bar.” I had a friend who hated it when I spoke Spanish because he didn’t understand it, so whenever I spoke Spanish he would derisively say “Nachos del grande!” The idea of barbarians has a similar origin in annoyance and disdain by the autochthonous Greeks. With that stuff in mind, the idea of being overrun by barbarians is as relevant to the current U.S.A. (and the West generally) as it was to the Romans or the empires overrun by the Sea People.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    My parents speak Spanish, but they say that when I was young and they tried to teach me, I would yell, "STOP SPEAKING SPANISH!"
  56. trilobite says:
    @Anonymous
    Steve, are you going to be writing an article defending Milo against the anti-free speech people at CPAC who are preventing him from speaking there?

    interesting to hear Steve’s views on pedophilia.

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  57. AndrewR says:
    @AKAHorace
    There is a tendency for historians to put present problems into their interpretations of the past. Now it is climate change, an earlier example is "the March of folly" in which a range of political bad choices from the fall of Troy are compared with the Vietnam war.

    A cursory reading of history shows that climate changes have had enormous effects on humans (and pre-humans) going back to the dawn of life.

    The debate over anthropogenic climate change in the current year and the appropriate responses to it has become needlessly politicized, but climate changes have been of undeniable, immense importance in human history.

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  58. Cortes says:
    @Davidski

    What Caused the Late Bronze Age Collapse?
     
    Iron.

    Seems like a sensible answer.

    The Greek god of smiths, Hephaestus, was usually depicted as lame and if I recall correctly, Robert Graves’s take on that was that Bronze Age smiths ran the risk of being hobbled to keep them near the metal source. The near ubiquity of sources of iron possibly made knowledge of smelting and related metalworking much more mobile skills with a great new and superior product. No need to be a member of the charmed circle of courtiers in an ossified Empire when you can set out unique selling points on the circuit of smaller, nimbler, ambitious petty kinglets who know a good thing when they see it…

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    • Replies: @Ozymandias
    "The Greek god of smiths, Hephaestus, was usually depicted as lame and if I recall correctly, Robert Graves’s take on that was..."

    Being lame was one of the five signs of royalty according to Graves (from either 'I, Claudius' or 'Claudius The God.'). Two others were being a redhead and having a Y-shaped blue vein on the forehead. I don't recall the other two. Claudius, of course, was also lame.
    , @Anon
    I really doubt any smith was made lame to keep them near a metal source, rather it was the profession of choice if you happened to be lame. Farmers have to walk miles behind a plow. Soldiers do a lot of marching. Merchants back in earlier times were a lot more mobile than we realize today, because your local village in the Bronze or Iron Ages often did not have a large enough customer base to provide a merchant with a living. Merchants were more like peddlers who wandered about with pack animals of goods. The fixed store with one location is a more modern invention, and it needs a bigger city to support it as an economic enterprise. Even as late as the Middle Ages, most merchants were migratory, taking their goods from fair to fair. See Fernand Braudel on the subject.

    Anyway, in a society that needed mobility to make a living, if you were born lame, becoming a smith who worked a fixed-in-place forge was one way to get ahead in life.

    , @whorefinder
    Wasn't the lameness a euphemism of some sort? I got the sense that the Hephaestus/Vulcan "lameness" was a stand-in for impotence, hence why his wife Aphrodite/Venus cuckolds him with Ares/Mars their own marriage bed (which Hephaestus rigs to trap them in the act and shame them, only to have it backfire on him and have the other gods start laughing at him).

    I know that at least in Hebrew texts, "feet" was a stand-in for sexual organs, so perhaps the euphemism of legs/feet for genitals was an idea carried over into other near east cultures?

    It's also interesting that Hephaestus/Vulcan is the only "practical" god among the main Olympian pantheon. All the other big gods have generalized powers that are a bit more sprawling/vague (e.g. Poseidon controls all the oceans, Hades all the dead, Athena all the wisdom) while Hephaestus did the very specific, concrete task of forging individual metal objects in a hearth. About the only other one who had a concrete task I can think of was Apollo, who did poetry, although that's not as concrete as metal---and Apollo, too, was famous for his trouble with the ladies.

  59. KM32 says:
    @Rob McX
    If we can't even understand why people are wilfully turning over their countries to invaders now, we don't have much chance of figuring out the motives for what happened 3000 years ago. People in the year 5000 will have a hard time explaining Merkel.

    If we face a true civilizational collapse, nobody will know the first thing about Merkel. A dark ages now would see the death of billions. There’s simply no way to preserve our population and civilization without a lot of complexity from top to bottom. Famously, no one person can even make a pencil these days.

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  60. Cortes says:
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    • Replies: @Triumph104
    OT:

    http://nypost.com/2017/02/21/retired-wnba-star-i-was-tormented-for-not-being-gay/
  61. Anonym says:
    @Whiskey
    I've read the book, a few years ago, and looked at the map. The ONLY empire that did not completely fall was the Egyptian, and they had to retreat halfway up the Nile. To me that screams it was the Sea Peoples.

    Volcanoes, "Climate change," etc would not disrupt trade routes completely, and yet that is what happened. They just ... ended. Everything. As well as cities, towns, and villages simply vanishing in charcoal and debris, and not being rebuilt.

    The Ottomans when they conquered Constantinople did not tear it down and make it just ash, to be a desert. They rebuilt. And cities and towns similarly situated, on the confluence of rivers, or port anchorages, and so on were destroyed. All the way from Greece down to modern day Iraq and Iran on the Persian Gulf. It seems a great army of people was on the move, some by sea, some by land. Those on Crete moved far inland, into the deep mountains of the center of the island, where it snows often and there is little food. That is just like the behavior of Europeans on the Med and southern Atlantic from around 700 AD until the Barbary Pirates (Muslims) were conquered in the 1830s.

    The Vikings had their longboats, shallow draft boats that could navigate in only two feet of water, could be portaged around obstacles that were not too difficult, and could sail in the open ocean. The Mongols had their composite bows and ponies, which however bogged down in a European winter and fall full of mud and sleet and rain (causing said composite bows to split apart). The Sea Peoples according to the only surviving accounts, from the Egyptians, seemed to have merely overwhelming numbers and the desert on both sides of the Nile allowed a retreat well up it without being outflanked.

    The Muslim/African invasion of Europe is the same. Overwhelming numbers. I presume, in a battle for Europe that turns hot and violent, the story will be huge numerical advantages vs. huge killing advantages. Muslims own most cities but that is a very bad place to be in War; and imagine swarms of networked hunter-killer drones, autonomous killer robots, and custom bio-weapons tailored to DNA markers. Not to mention undoubtedly a comeback for poison gas, quite effective in cities I imagine. In short the 21st Century will be even bloodier if that was possible than the last. All avoidable save elites bringing in ringers to settle Scandinavian ethnic scores against Celts and Saxons and Latins; and women equal to their men who cannot forgive that insult.

    All avoidable save elites bringing in ringers to settle Scandinavian ethnic scores against Celts and Saxons and Latins; and women equal to their men who cannot forgive that insult.

    Your comic timing improves Whiskey! This time you waited until the very end to unveil the punchline.

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  62. AndrewR says:
    @Rob McX
    If we can't even understand why people are wilfully turning over their countries to invaders now, we don't have much chance of figuring out the motives for what happened 3000 years ago. People in the year 5000 will have a hard time explaining Merkel.

    We do know (((why))) tho…

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  63. Only fitting that for my 1,000th comment on UR … I will wager that the ur-civilisations, which were all built upon the backs of slave labour, lost control of the slave labour they imported to cheaply do the work that their own people would not do, thereby destroying themselves from within and making it easy pickings for hardier hordes to overrun them (they were probably welcomed by many) and take their women and property.

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  64. Olorin says:

    Hmm. I thought the marrow and nads of Cline’s book (on our winter reading list) was that overdependence on internationalism in trade and finance was the major contributor to the Bronze Age civilization’s collapse.

    Though he lays out many different elements of how that overdependence made the cities/states/peoples involved vulnerable to any single disruption, he seems to coalesce around Colin Renfrew’s “systems collapse” concept–specifically laid out in chapter 5, pp. 160-170.

    –collapse of central administrative organization;
    –disappearance of traditional elite class;
    –collapse of centralized economy;
    –settlement shift/population decline.

    I read Cline’s book as deliberately, openly cautionary regarding the fragile and complicated internationalist regimes that, rather than being “too big to fail” are too ungainly and luxury-oriented to endure.

    That sort of meta-civilization starts to move quickly in the direction of trying to redistribute wealth and people in an increasingly complicated, increasingly vulnerable network. The broader its reach and the deeper its power, the more likely the entire thing will collapse under failure in any one part of it, which triggers cascading failures or makes the whole system more vulnerable in the face of other concomitant failures.

    Whether the localized collapse involves importation of plague, or withdrawal from a trade regime, or climate shifts changing food availability, or invasion of robust outsiders, or competition for scarce materials, or an earthquake, or a catastrophic fire–it’s like throwing a handful of marbles under the feet of a Titan. He thrashes, he falls, and the marbles end up under the feet of other Titans. Then come more/different marbles.

    In designing engineering systems, we set a lot of store by robustness and redundancy. What I see the need for in our republic at present is related to this: how do we imagine and accomplish “big lig” things, without falling victim to the Monumentalist disease? (And isn’t it interesting that the left so fetishizes a giant bronze lady welcoming sea people?)

    How do we decide what job needs to be done, innovators and maintainers alike…at a scale that doesn’t eventually drown the maintainers?

    Floyd Domini–America’s dam-builder extraordinaire–confessed to Marc Reisner late in his life a recognition that he’d turned nearly 180 on dams. Not all public works should be titanic in scale, nor should all rivers be dammed.

    Is one vast 770-foot-tall dam better than a series of smaller ones? Is one massive public work better than investment in more, and dispersed ones?

    Dead civilizations’ huge monuments stand all over the world. But their living, breathing descendants run right through our own DNA.

    What should we focus on conserving? Should our monuments impress or endure? Are we Ozymandias, or Vainamoinen?

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  65. Zoodles says:

    Keep in mind that early Iron weapons werent superior to bronze.In fact the early high-tin hand hammered bronze used in this time period is quite a bit harder than early iron. The only reason iron became common was its cheapness and availability. Its not until people figured out how to turn Iron into steel that iron weapons became the better choice.

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    • Replies: @Boomstick
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4qLhq5V2-o

    Skallagrim is a European martial arts guy.

    Iron seems to have won out because it's cheaper and requires less of a trading network. It's easier to outfit a large army. Everybody gets metallic weapons instead of just an elite, and there are more warriors on the battlefield.

    The fall of so many walled cities suggests to me that the invaders had something that helped them in siege warfare.
    , @Olorin
    And bearing in mind that non-alloyed iron is as brittle as glass.

    As anybody knows who ever dropped his wife's Le Creuset Dutch oven on the paved driveway, coming in from the kamado.

    :D

  66. The Hittites always interested me. They were an Indo European people similiar to the Germanic and Celtic peoples. If they had survived until the present, would Turkey and Norther Syria be more culturally European today?

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    If they had survived until the present, would Turkey and Norther Syria be more culturally European today?
     
    Turkey was culturally European until the 16th century, when Muslims won and started their favorite pastime -- genocide and ethnic cleansing. The last bout of it was in the early 20th century.

    So no, it wouldn't. The problem is Islam, not language or genetics.
  67. Bleuteaux says:

    What are the iSteve community’s reading recommendations for this subject? Clearly some well-read commentators on the subject.

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  68. Anonym says:
    @AaronB
    Yes, it's so mystifying what caused the collapse of Bronze Age civilizations. Since the historical record shows that it's normal for civilizations to endure forever, clearly some catastrophe must have brought about this unique event.

    lol

    Rather, all civilizations are inherently unstable projects that exhaust themselves after a few centuries, because the principle of expansion, growth, and increasing complexity upon which they rest are inherently self-devouring.

    It is weird to find people searching for unique causes for this or that collapse, failing to see their chosen collapse as one in a long series of entirely similar and predictable events.

    The real question is why some civilizations endure so much longer than others, like Egypt and China. The answer is usually that the destabilizing element of egotistic expansion is much reduced.

    A very good comment. At this juncture it would be a good time to re-read Glubb.

    http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/glubb.pdf

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  69. @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    “Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.”

    Uh oh.

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  70. Lee Wang says:

    This is answered in one of the most brilliant books ever written:
    ‘The End of the Bronze Age’ by Robert Drews[1].

    Contents:
    ‘Why could Odysseus string the bow when the suitors could not’, the origin of the Illiad and the destruction of Troy, The Karnak inscription and the Sea peoples, the Hittite 3-man chariot, composite recurve bows, etc etc.

    [1] https://www.amazon.com/End-Bronze-Age-Robert-Drews/dp/0691025916

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    Drews must be kidding: "From the ashes arose the city-states of Greece and the tribal confederacy of Israel, communities that depended on massed formations of infantrymen. "

    How the devil can a few bandits and shepherds in the Palestine hills produce masses of infantrymen?
  71. Deplorables, that’s it. The deplorables destroyed civilization even before they were Christians and white.

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  72. eD says:
    @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    The Western Roman empire was “overrun” by its own army.

    The Romans first started recruiting exclusively among the Germans, then started recruiting entire German tribes in the Roman army. As the Roman currency collapsed, they were paid in land. The Emperor became a figurehead, and then the position was abolished for being worthless. The Eastern Empire was able to stop the rot in time.

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    • Replies: @eD
    Its not clear what happened in the twelfth century BC, since surviving records are really patchy. But it was common for early civilizations that had just gotten out of the stone age to just collapse for no clear reason. People just gave up on the whole city thing and went back to tribal living. Once civilizations obtained a certain critical mass that was no longer possible, and you get something more like the Mediterranean between the fourth and seventh centuries AD, a deterioration but much of the old civilization still survives.
  73. Chriscom says:
    @Anon
    I've always thought it had to do with a big earthquake, or one of the various eruptions of Thera. We know an eruption of Thera wiped out the Minoan civilization, and an eruption associated with a big earthquake would have been a disaster for any early civilization. A tsunami could easily have flooded and wiped out every port city around the Mediterranean basin, and a tsunami wave will force its way up rivers and cause them to run backwards, and swell enough to create sudden, massive floods. Early cities of any size had to have an easily reachable source of drinking water for their populations, so they are normally located on rivers. This means you have a lot of vulnerable people who are going to be killed when a tsunami comes rushing in.

    I've read Cline's book (and think it's pretty boring, frankly, though the subject is interesting), and he mentions many of the archaeological ruins look like they've been burned, and he guesses they were burned in warfare. However, us moderns tend to forget that back then every house had a hearth fire burning all the time. If a big earthquake hits, it's going to collapse a lot of houses, which means a lot of debris is going to be landing right in the flames of all those hearth fires, and some of that debris (wooden roof beams, etc.,) is flammable. In other words, it's not possible to have an earthquake in an environment like that without a lot of burning of the ruins after the earthquake has done its damage.

    The depredations of Sea Peoples look to me like desperate survivors trying to figure out how they can live after the disaster, and they've chosen piracy. It just so happens that if you have an earthquake and tsunami, the people who survive are likely to be fishermen or traders out on the sea in boats. Your boat will ride right over a tsunami wave, and you might not even notice the swell. Then once you return home you would have been stunned to find your city completely destroyed, and maybe your entire family, too. It's pretty easy to turn pirate if you already own an undamaged boat, and the few people you find who are still alive to assist you in your new career are also seamen who were out on the water at the time of the disaster.

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who thought that book was boring – – a lot of it anyway, and I was fascinated by the subject. It’s not a total washout. For example the correspondence between poor kings and rich kings where the former say to the latter look, I know you have a lot of gold, how can I get some of that gold? Maybe you can give me some?

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  74. Randal says:

    Of these, I would rank them in that specific order of importance: climate change; drought and famine; earthquakes; invaders; and internal rebellions.

    Can’t help suspecting that these (always rather subjective) rankings of importance of contributory causes are heavily influenced by intellectual fashion, so it seems reasonable to suspect the influence of climate change might be overplayed here.

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  75. eD says:
    @eD
    The Western Roman empire was "overrun" by its own army.

    The Romans first started recruiting exclusively among the Germans, then started recruiting entire German tribes in the Roman army. As the Roman currency collapsed, they were paid in land. The Emperor became a figurehead, and then the position was abolished for being worthless. The Eastern Empire was able to stop the rot in time.

    Its not clear what happened in the twelfth century BC, since surviving records are really patchy. But it was common for early civilizations that had just gotten out of the stone age to just collapse for no clear reason. People just gave up on the whole city thing and went back to tribal living. Once civilizations obtained a certain critical mass that was no longer possible, and you get something more like the Mediterranean between the fourth and seventh centuries AD, a deterioration but much of the old civilization still survives.

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  76. Randal says:

    OT, but of interest I would have thought, Steve:

    Tokyo Olympic golf course must give female members equal rights or lose event, says IOC

    The enforcement of global elite mores at work.

    Clearly, there are indigenous Japanese voices arguing for modern feminist ideology to be enforced on the golf course (the – female – governor of Tokyo is mentioned in the piece), but equally clearly these forces had not yet been able to impose conformity upon the club. Looks like that will now change, sharpish.

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  77. iffen says:
    @reiner Tor
    I read several places that by the end of the empire the Romans had a hard time recruiting Roman citizens into the army. People became risk-averse, and even though soldiers' pay didn't decrease at all, nobody was willing to sign up any more. So they had to hire barbarians. Some people (like Greg Cochran) think it was selection: Romans domesticated themselves, and then they couldn't fight wars anymore.

    Ethnically speaking, the Roman empire was a big melting pot, most of the population of the late Western Empire spoke Latin and considered themselves Romans (in fact, all Latin speaking peoples called themselves Romans, and were called by others as such, which is why Romanians are called Romanians), and even some of the non-Latin speaking peoples (like the Brits) were unhappy to see the empire go. Everyone realized how much safety and order the empire provided for them, and how much better it was at organizing things than the barbarian kingdoms that replaced it.

    Even the Germanic barbarians weren't homogeneous (Goths were probably quite different from Franks), but then you had other barbarians, of whom Slavs might've resembled Germanics a bit, but the Huns definitely didn't look like any of those.

    They ran out of Romans.

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  78. I glanced at Cline’s book and superficially it was dull, so I chose to set it down and read something more interesting, Dr. Johnson style.

    The issue itself is fascinating. Despite the fact that I view myself as moderately well-educated, the general problem was one I couldn’t articulate and was not fully aware of. There was a general collapse / disorder / retrogression round about 1177 BCE.

    The work that first got me intrigued was Ian Morris _Why the west rules–for now_ which has a more engaging (probably superficial) treatment of the Late Bronze Age Collapse.

    Camille Paglia once suggested we get a long piece of paper (roll of newsprint?) and start building a timeline covering ca. 500 BCE to 500 CE, working out the march of history in our heads, to make up for all the stuff that we should have learned in school but didn’t.

    Apparently we need to go back further. And a lot of the written records are very scanty, so archeologists are the folks to read–or at least people who are not relying on written materials, which are awfully sparse.

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    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe



    Camille Paglia once suggested we get a long piece of paper (roll of newsprint?) and start building a timeline covering ca. 500 BCE to 500 CE, working out the march of history in our heads, to make up for all the stuff that we should have learned in school but didn’t.
     
    If Paglia and others have their way, in the future people won't even know what happened halfway between 500 BCE and 500 CE. Heck, we could probably quiz kids coming out of their AP world history exams and they wouldn't know.
  79. CK says:
    @Glossy
    By the way, here's an Egyptian relief showing a Sherden soldier, a member of the Sea Peoples:

    http://cobalt.rocky.edu/~mark.moak/321sherden.jpg

    That's the earliest realistic representation of the European facial type that I'm aware of. The Sherden were either from Sardinia, or invaded Sardinia in the ~1200 BC mayhem, giving it their name.

    I think it bears a striking resemblance to Montgomery of Alamein.

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  80. By coincidence I was lunching with my sister this afternoon, talking about this and that and the whole social question, and we got to one of those “what is the world coming to?” moments in the conversation.

    “Are you familiar with the Hyksos Period in Egypt?” I asked her. She said that she was. “Well, that’s what it’s coming to.”

    The arrival of the Sea People, whoever they were, was very much incidental to social disintegration in Egypt at the close of the XII dynasty. What the time of the Hyksos really signifies is a condition of rootless cosmopolitanism and advanced civic decay very similar to our own. It was a century-long period of misrule by upstarts, lunatics, and irreligious brigands who set out to destroy every semblance of order in the kingdom. It is telling that the youth of the Egyptian cities (the special snowflakes of their day) joined with the foreign invaders, while people of obscure origins rose to positions of great wealth and power and trashed the temples and other civic institutions for their own personal satisfaction. Hillary Clinton, the Lying Press, and the pussy-hat marchers are all contemporary equivalents of the Hyksos.

    It is encouraging that the campaign from Thebes was eventually able to expel them and return some vestige of Egyptian civilization in the form of the New Kingdom.

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  81. CK says:
    @newexplanation
    Women?

    "The axial age polities were stronger because they were more cooperative. Perhaps the new polities became more cooperative by relegating meddlesome women further from power."

     


    "Alpha female networks created enough unpredictability that, if they did not bring the alpha male states crashing down they stopped them rising again."

     


    "The solution evolution found for aristocratic conspiracies was the secular bureaucracy – a massive fraternal network that was to become the new social glue. With the emergence of the first transnational groups, the world religions, all-male networks largely replaced marriage diplomacy between polities.

    Later all-male political-religious groups like Knights Templar, Jesuits and Assassins formed the hybrid of these two pathways. The end of the palatial states was the end of her-story and the beginning of his-story."
     

    http://seshatdatabank.info/the-end-of-her-story/

    At the end of the bronze age there is a structural transition involving the role of powerful women in society with women becoming less powerful afterwards, when more male-only networks and institutions formed.

    Theory is falsifiable if it can be proved there was significant female networking after the bronze age - or if it can be shown their role in societies before the dark age was relatively minor.

    Since the turn of the 20th century, the world has witnessed the development of a new herstory. Not the return of powerful queens but the development of bureaucratic female leaders. While the USA has just recently dodged that bullet the rest of the world has not.
    Consider that the Obama administration had no powerful men in its top ranks and was managed by three women. The Trump administration has no women in powerful official positions. What a relief to not have a simpering war monger female as secretary of state.

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  82. @Glossy
    It seems that the Sea Peoples, who caused the collapse by invading the centers of civilization, came from Greece and Italy. Why do invasions like that happen when they happen is difficult to say. Why did the Viking Age happen, the Arab invasions of the 7th century, the Germanic invasions of the 5th century, the Mongol invasion, the Huns' invasion? Sometimes tribal groups rise up and start raiding.

    Maybe a strong personality united them for a while. We just don't know who the Sea People's Ghinghis Khan/Mohammed figure was because they didn't leave any records. Maybe there were other reasons.

    Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God's wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything.

    >Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God’s wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything

    Hilarious, but class struggle is actually the best way to explain everything.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I think ethno-nationalism and HBD provide the best available explanations of politics and history. Constant struggles between ethnic groups which are good and bad at different things.

    Different environments and occupations shape the evolution of different ethnic groups, their abilities, emotional profiles.

    Class and religion are mostly proxies for ethnicity, which is primarily genetic.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to fear from throwing off your chains!
  83. Hubbub says:

    What Caused The Mysterious Bronze Age [of consent] Collapse?

    Easy: the Trojan Whore, the Greek yogurt – Milo Yiannapolis, of course. Today, he is the source of all things evil, historical and modern.

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  84. Bill says:
    @Peter Akuleyev
    But Hannity is the press, and Fox News is the mainstream media, if you go by ratings. It would make more sense to say "the elite press" has declared war on Donald Trump. And so what. The people who read the NYT and Washington Post are never going to like Trump.

    It’s not really a matter of liking. One of the functions of the established church is to define good guys and bad guys, as a kind of coordination mechanism. The fact that Trump seems to have no allies in the established church is bad for him and risky for the established church. Hannity is just some provincial, rabble-rousing preacher. He isn’t a bishop.

    I’m baffled at the failure of the establishment to cut a deal with Trump. Why are they trying to crush him instead?

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    I’m baffled at the failure of the establishment to cut a deal with Trump. Why are they trying to crush him instead?

    Factions that won't negotiate, inviolable deals Trump made with us that can't be broken. Trump has tried to be accommodating, as best he can. That's the tale of his appointees.
  85. Travis says:
    @Peter Akuleyev
    But Hannity is the press, and Fox News is the mainstream media, if you go by ratings. It would make more sense to say "the elite press" has declared war on Donald Trump. And so what. The people who read the NYT and Washington Post are never going to like Trump.

    it is upsetting to see the conservative media, in addition to the mainstream media, constantly attacking Trump…often for the same faux reasons the left is critical of Trump. I can no longer read the Wall Street Journal , and the National Review has only gotten worse with Trump derangement syndrome. Not surprised the NY Times is jumping the shark with dozens of Anti-Trump columns each and every day, but it is distressing to see even conservative media did not grant Trump a honeymoon and allow him to get his administration in place before continuing the relentless mindless vitriol against Trump.

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  86. SPMoore8 says:

    I agree that invoking “Climate Change” as the cause of the late Bronze Age collapse is irredeemably trendy.

    In all likelihood the cause of the collapse was was war, brought on my demographics, a superabundance of one kind of people and a stasis and decline of another kind of people. That seems to explain the main causative mechanisms.

    Volcanic eruptions would have had some impact, because that would affect agriculture, which in turn would have affected migrations, demographics, and so on. So “climate change” has some validity.

    The burning of palaces and so on is probably due to war or raids.

    I see no reason to question the idea that all of the people in the Mediterranean — especially the Eastern Med and including Egypt — were in contact. So we have the Egpytians, who were in contact with the “Sea Peoples” as well as the Hittites, and the Hittites were Indo European (IE) but their civilization seemed to collapse in this era, too.

    We have the Dorian invasion, that is, Greek speakers from around modern day Istanbul who appear to have migrated into Mycenaean Greece (all Greeks, but different dialects).

    We have Minoan civilization, which was partly Greek (Linear B) and thus linked to Mycenaean, and possibly with Egypt.

    We have various IE civilizations in western Turkey (not forgetting the Hittites), presumably at least partly Greek (as it would be thereafter).

    And then finally the Phoenicians, who at first glance appear to have been the Vikings of their age.

    So I think basically population pressures in Anatolia (Asia Minor) caused migrations that disrupted the older, more fragile, and largely illiterate (except for the linear scripts) Minoan-Mycenaean elites. The four horsemen followed (war, famine, disease, and death) followed by a couple of centuries of rebuilding, followed by the emergence of the Greek civilization we know, which maintained continuity of memory because it had a reliable form of communication via a reliable alphabet.

    Jaynes’ thesis, that emerging consciousness had something to do with this, fundamentally comes down to two things: first, that the meaning of words and the words used to express thoughts and internal forms of awareness changed over the centuries: yet, all of us still use older locutions, when we say things like, “it came to me” and so on. The second point of Jaynes’ thesis is the fact of schizophrenia, most especially the phenomenon of hearing voices. However, most people hear voices, including their own, when they are thinking or writing. My guess is that the basic phenomenon is unchanged over the years, but the change in the terms we use to describe it has changed the way we think and talk about it; most particularly, I think we are far more introspective than your typical old timer would have been. Elaborating this would involve invoking a form of Sapir-Whorf, I think.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Consciousness-Breakdown-Bicameral-Mind/dp/0618057072
  87. CK says:

    It is probable that the civilizations of that 3000 year era gradually de-evolved the education of their children. Every society that has put the formal education of their male children under the control of women has fallen or is in the process of falling.
    60 years ago I had a majority of male teachers in high school, junior high, and elementary.
    I am told that it considered highly unusual to find a male teacher in high school except for Phys. Ed. and the few remaining manual studies courses. The generations of fathers taught be females are not capable of teaching their own sons how to be men. The young men of societies that have not de-evolved the teaching of them are currently having much fun and enjoying much diversity of pleasure in what were once more manly nations.

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  88. danindc says:

    What caused the late Bronze age collapse??………..yep, you guessed it Frank Stallone.

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  89. @Rob McX
    If we can't even understand why people are wilfully turning over their countries to invaders now, we don't have much chance of figuring out the motives for what happened 3000 years ago. People in the year 5000 will have a hard time explaining Merkel.

    Yep. I’ve made that same point here repeatedly. Even with huge amounts of documentation, future historians will find it very difficult to believe the reasoning behind today’s events, especially in Europe. They simply won’t believe that advanced, prosperous civilizations purposely allowed in violent, low-IQ religious fanatics bent on destroying the natives.

    Why would they?

    At least the Romans brought in barbarians as slaves or soldiers. Europe’s Muslims neither work nor defend Europe. What’s happening now is more akin to England and France inviting the Vikings into their countries and offering them welfare to stick around.

    Actually, as Steve has noted, it’s probably a bit more like the Irish kings inviting in the Norman knights to help them fight other Irish kings. Short-term gain for long-term pain.

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  90. bb. says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Is Jaynes' theory falsifiable?

    playing the old falsifiableness card steve, i see :D
    in all seriousness, i am long interested in that question myself and would like to hear your thoughts on it. Personally I got the point where I am not even certain me, myself exists so..
    Anyway, my interest was renewed these days because it is somewhat build into HBOs new show with Anthony Hopkins, a remake of Westworld. I didn’t watch it yet but the idea in short is that the robots adapt to the code in which their A.I. is written and become conscious.
    So the falsifiability could be tested on robots. That, or you can always isolate a group of people, raised in a Westworld-like closed environment by linguists in a reverse engineered, archaic, of metaphor devoid language and see if you can make robots/drones :)

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  91. @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    I read one time a late Roman writer remarked that the Germans were fearsomely armed. Apparently, a Germanic warrior could cut a horse in half with his huge broadsword.

    Given the Germans tended to be larger than the Romans they may have had both a physical and technological advantage over the Romans.

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    • Replies: @Daniel H
    Roman infantry tactics were far superior. Overwhelmed any advantage an adversary may have had in weaponry, size, strength, personal courage.

    Roman infantry marched into battle with extreme discipline. Shoulder to shoulder, large shield protecting most of the front and covering his fellow's right, leaving just enough room to deliver devastating thrusts from the short sword. Protected by heavy armor: helmet, leather neck protection, body armor, greaves.

    Just prior to engagement the adversary's ranks were softened up the peltasts: light infantry wielding javelins and slinging bullets, who disengaged just prior to the clash of the fully armored infantry.

    The foot soldiers were kept focused by their officers who directed, guided and exhorted from the rear of the ranks.

    Truly devastating force. They seldom lost. One noted and famous example was Varus and his legions, massacred to a man during an ill-fated German expedition in the year 9 A.D. It is telling that the legions were ambushed and massacred on a narrow trail that traversed forest and swamp. Not an area that Romans would have chosen for battle and that nullified their tactical strength. Analogous to the German setback before Moscow in 1941 during WWII. All tactical advantages nullified by terrain, climate, overextended logistics.
    , @Jack Hanson
    Indeed, the Roman writer Whiskeyius often wrote about how Roman women hate hate HATE Roman men in favor of athletic German barbarians.

    According to this writer, Roman troubles in Judea Province could also be laid at the feet of Roman women. The Judeans themselves were blameless.
  92. Luke Lea says:

    Several years of crop failures over a wide enough geographical region would certainly be enough, whatever the cause. Extended drought is the most obvious possibility, but what about crop disease? A volcanic eruption big enough to destabilize an entire geographic region and not just Crete who leave a global signature, wouldn’t it. As for new weapons and barbarian invasions, they would be clearly visible in the archeological record so I think you can rule them out.

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  93. @unit472
    Interesting factoid in the Guardian concerning the cold weather in Southern Europe making produce scarce in Northern Europe. To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.

    In a less complex ancient world you could have something like that going on. Crop failure puts a premium on food supplies which urban elites, having more gold, are able to buy up. The gold is redistributed to the hinterland but, because the rural labor force is starved, it is weakened left vulnerable to disease and unable to resume agricultural production at anything like the prior level. Hick landowners are left with a pot of worthless gold though.

    To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.

    I guess that makes the Scots antifragile in that respect. UK gov. is forever whining at them to change their (admittedly grotesque and primitive) dietary habits, eat up their “5-a-day”salads and fruit like good barbarians, and lay off the Buckfast and deep-fried MarsBars, because it costs the NHS money. They die a decade or more earlier than Home Counties (former Imperial Core territory) English. And they don’t care, apparently.
    Lettuce could vanish along with every vegetable on the planet (apart from rutabaga/turnips, each January) and I doubt it would even be noticed in Glasgow. On the other hand, a lard and malting barley shortage would probably finish them off for good.

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    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @Rob McX
    I thought the deep-fried Mars bars started as an urban myth. Apparently some chip shop owner then cashed in on the news coverage it was getting by turning it into reality (or maybe that was just part of the myth too).
    , @biz
    Wouldn't dying a decade earlier mean that they would cost the NHS less?
    , @Chief Seattle
    I guess that makes the Scots antifragile in that respect.

    Funniest thing I've seen all day. I've got to admit, that when I see leafy greens in a lunch place that my mind goes straight to E. Coli and the odds that the dozen-plus people that handled those veggies all washed their hands first. At least fried food takes decades to make you sick.
  94. Luke Lea says:

    Crop failures, for whatever reason, would certainly lead to wars and invasions. Wars as states invaded their neighbors in a desperate attempt to seize whatever food stocks remained uneaten; invasions as peoples in areas unaffected took advantage of the weakened states.

    BTW, Abraham’s abandonment of Mesopotamia in favor of a depopulated Palestine (or whatever that region was called) might have been one consequence; pastoral peoples might have had an advantage if their sheep and goats fed on vegetation unaffected or less affected by drought or disease.

    As I think more about it I think a plant disease epidemic is the most likely. Even a severe drought would not dry up the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers completely, yet there was collapse everywhere, not just in areas dependent on rain. Of course disease and drought go together: stressed plants are more vulnerable to viruses, fungi, and bacterial infections.

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  95. Barnard says:

    OT: Another this week in hate hoax. They want their neighbors homes searched for spray paint. One of the comments on the article posts a link to the foreclosure proceedings on the house.

    http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/NAACP-blasts-Stamford-s-response-to-racist-10945584.php#photo-12413579

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  96. KA says:
    @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    “Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.”

    I agree with you but I am more exclusively focused on the “old tired”- the mature part – the life that has wealth luxury and time for idle gossip. When citizenry is mostly made of this , it is difficult for the empire to move forward giving rise to other “empire or wanna be empire ” a leg up

    Harppan civilization vanished under barbarians Aryan invasion .

    Moorish Spain buckled under because it wont fight the same way it had fought against local kings before .
    America could not win in Iraq and Afghanistan because it wont fight the way it fought the Native Americans and Philippines anymore .

    Britsh India won against local because most of the time ferocity and eagerness shown by British were not matched by the locals.

    But was not the promise of after life luxury itself once promoted to recruit uninterested Greek youth to join the war against other ? To them as so many other back at that time -death meant slow decomposition of great body underneath the ground and devouring of it by insects or dogs . Why try to bring it forward ?
    Why bother if you got the luxurious life already ?

    Even today we worship warrior as hero We have created an image of them on TV on billboards we remember them in hotel in airport in school at college in restaurant. Part of the reason is that we want to share with them the worldly aspect of the sacrifice . They are mythologized on TV screen and theater . We bring our experts on everything from the military . Fight and meaningful fight are secondary . Then is the corruption. If corruption could wreck military in other countries and in different times , it could wreck the fighting morale as well in any time and space . The failures lies in the success also when we out of habit use the previous successful formula – either out of laziness or out to score a point over the rival or out of lack of better more relevant logic ( Like we bring WW2 ,Chamberlain and Churchill all the time nowadays more son since 2003 or invoke Hitler to get citizen to war ) The failures have many sources before final collapse

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  97. whorefinder says: • Website

    Comparing similar dark ages often offers a clue.

    The European Dark Ages was caused by the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, whose territory was divided up by the Goths into various warring mini-kingdoms. The roads were unsafe, the tax revenue was interrupted, trade was difficult due to robbers and high trade costs. As a result, scholarship was unfunded and any that occurred was likely destroyed by the latest invaders. It wasn’t until the Carolingian Empire emerged in central Europe that the Dark Ages ebbed, trade routes were more protected, and scholarship and regularization occurred in various European nations.

    In the Arab Dark Ages, the old Persian and Romans withdrew their regional influence/protection as their empires collapsed, causing the various tribes to, again, go to war with one another over the terrirtory and left very little time for erudition. Islam united the tribes and offered stability enough to return to protected roads/trade routes and scholarship.

    So I think the Bronze Age Collapse is likely due to the same circumstance–one or two great powers saw their power over the region break down, meaning unsafe travel routes and unfunded scholarship. It wasn’t till the Greeks and new Persian empires could protect and solidify trade over the Spice Road that the income could be regular and people could be paid to write and think.

    Now what caused the great empires to lose power over the region is another question. We’ve been debating about the causes of the Roman Empire’s collapse for literally a millennium. The Bronze Age Collapse—when we figure out which empires fell to pieces—will be similarly debated.

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  98. dearieme says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    Weren't the Biblical Philistines, Sea Peoples? I've somehow always thought that the word Philistine was derived somehow from Phoenician, but perhaps I'm wrong. The Philistines are portrayed as simply dreadful by the Bible, but from what I've read they were both culturally superior and more interested in getting along with their Hebrew neighbors than were the Hebrews themselves, or at least the Hebrews who wrote the Book of Judges (any accommodation to Philistine deities was totally unacceptable to Yahweh's priests).

    The taking of Canaan occurred at the transition of the Bronze to the Iron Ages. The Israelites were stopped by the Hittites because the Hittites had weapons of iron.

    “The taking of Canaan occurred”: there’s a school of thought that says it never occurred. The Hebrews were just one bunch of Canaanites who distinguished themselves from the others by adoption of a cult involving food taboos, a foundation mythology, etc. Apparently the archaeology supports that view: no captivity, no exodus, just a bunch of shepherds and bandits in the hills making themselves into a people.

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    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Really? Archaeology? We have not dug it up yet so it does not exist? You Brits are a damned nuisance and a plague. Thank God for George Washington.
  99. @David
    I like the theory that the development/introduction of iron smelting caused the value of bronze to collapse which in turned caused a breakdown in long distance trade. Before, little essentially symbolic ax heads of bronze circulated like coins. Iron is no good for that because once you know how to make it, it has little scarcity value. Tin is very scarce and copper is pretty scarce relative to iron.

    David, your theory has traction.

    Steve, a former engineering technology professor of mine who also had a Masters degree in history, pointed out the fallacy in the iron weapons superior to bronze leading to civilization collapse theory. It is this.

    Work-hardened bronze is superior in every way to primitive cast iron as a material for weapons.

    Too many of us confuse bronze with brass or copper. Just because your copper house wire is relatively flexible doesn’t mean that all copper alloys are. And, have you noticed that the more you bend the wire around and through studs and joists, the more difficult it is to bend? That’s work hardening. Whereas iron gets soft when bent repeatedly, bronze gets harder, so primitive smiths just banged on it a lot to toughen it up.

    I tried to cut threads into bronze alloy rods with which I was fastening ballast onto the bottom of a boat I was building. And gave up. I took them to a machine shop. The bronze alloy I had selected was so tough I couldn’t cut it by hand, even with brand new HSS taps and dies.

    Because of the way it was smelted, early iron had so much carbon in it that it was brittle. While it may have been cheap and abundant, it didn’t make a superior weapon to bronze. Brittle stuff shatters upon impact; it’s hard, really hard, but not tough. A man armed with a bronze tipped spear or sword would not have been at any disadvantage against one armed with primitive iron. (Note that I say “primitive” because now we know how to exclude much of the carbon iron takes up during smelting and can make carbon steels that are fantastically strong, hard and tough).

    As David says, bronze is relatively scarce compared to iron (which is after all, one of the most abundant elements in the Earth’s crust, so much so that all those colors used in paleo cave paintings are “rust” colored. Artists call them earth pigments, Raw and burnt umber, siennas, English and Venetian Red etc. are just clays with a high iron content) and so bronze is a “noble” metal not only because it is scarce, but also because it lasts. Just look at the condition of the statues that have been exhumed from Ancient Greek sites.

    Even today, bronze hardware aboard a yacht is, in spite of its dull patina, more valued and more expensive than the shiniest stainless steel. Though, as ever, the ignorant masses are blinded by shiny reflections and are easily misled by glitz and glitter, a real sailor disdains gaudy stainless steel for far more elitist (and expensive) bronze.

    On the other hand, there is the curious legend that the most conservative Greek city-state, Sparta, retained iron as the base of their currency. To avoid contamination by the corrupting influence of their degenerate neighbors, the Spartans wouldn’t accept gold, silver or bronze as mediums of trade and anyone caught hoarding them was punished. So while this may be an exaggeration, it may be an echo of the invasion Steve is talking about. The legacy of a iron-girt warrior cult dedicated to conquering and its fear of losing its identity by assimilation with the people they conquered.

    So maybe the iron people won out not because of (primitive) iron’s superiority to bronze as an edged weapon, but rather because, due to iron’s relative abundance, hoards of invaders could be armed who then overran those civilizations in which only the nobility could afford to arm themselves with bronze.

    The old civilization was hierarchical and ascribed to each class an element, gold, silver and bronze (iron wasn’t even on the map). Plato’s use of this scheme in The Republic is a relic of this and evidence that though conquered the old civilization resurfaced and came to rule the new Rulers. Just as we say, “First Rome conquered Greece and then Greece conquered Rome” so too did the old nobility of the Bronze Age civilization eventually prevail.

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    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Randal

    So maybe the iron people won out not because of (primitive) iron’s superiority to bronze as an edged weapon, but rather because, due to iron’s relative abundance, hoards of invaders could be armed who then overran those civilizations in which only the nobility could afford to arm themselves with bronze.
     
    This argument reminds me of the often argued reason for guns replacing bows, despite early guns being far inferior to bows/longbows for most military purposes, being that it's a lot easier and quicker to teach a man to use a primitive gun than to use a bow properly (especially a longbow). Crossbows were likewise easy to learn to use, but much more expensive to make.
  100. Mr. Anon says:
    @Achilles
    In the Odyssey, Odysseus refers to going on viking-style raids, apparently to Egypt.

    Most likely is that the maritime raiding skills honed in the years-long Trojan War sparked a period of ship-borne raids throughout the Eastern Mediterranean by Greeks and others.

    Something like a Viking Age in which any civilization within reach of being attacked suddenly by a fleet of ships carrying raiders was burned and looted with lots of killings and rapes.

    The later Viking Age was a period of tremendous turmoil for the victimized areas from Britain to Ireland to France even to Sicily. No reason why an earlier time of sea-raiding would not also be tumultuous.

    “Most likely is that the maritime raiding skills honed in the years-long Trojan War sparked a period of ship-borne raids throughout the Eastern Mediterranean by Greeks and others.”

    If there was indeed a protracted war involving something called Troy……..that is quite possible. Wars often end with armies of footloose men suddenly out of employment. Such mercenary armies were a plague on Europe from the 14th through the 17th century. And free-booters working in the service of European powers in the 17th-18th century were the cause of the piracy of that era.

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  101. Luke Lea says:

    Yet another possibility might be a more virulent version of the flu epidemic of 1918, though why that would not have affected more distant barbarian societies who later invaded I do not know.

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    • Replies: @John Derbyshire
    Plagues seem to have hit urban-static populations much harder than settlement-nomadics. The Plague of Justinian, when it reached Britain, hit the (Romano-Celtic) British much harder than the (Scando-Germanic) English. Its 7th-century recurrences seem not to have bothered the armies of Islam.
  102. @Anonymous
    There's no editing. There are two different podcasts, and you can listen to them straight through and it's the same content as that alleged in the news stories.

    No, its not. Its obvious he was talking about his own relationship in the podcast versus the smear by the media (and CTR trolls like yourself) that he was defending pedophilia.

    This is all part of a larger left wing media hit on Milo. 4Chan posted about this before it happened, and so far its been going down as anon said it would.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    There are two podcasts, the Joe Rogan show and some other random one, in which he clearly does defend pedophilia. There's no editing involved. You can listen to the podcasts straight through and come away with the same impression. At best you could say that he doesn't advocate for it, although even that is debatable since he does promote it as a good thing for young homosexuals in the podcasts.

    These podcasts were posted months ago. Pretty much all of the alt-right, except for homosexuals and trolls trying to associate the alt-right with homosexuality and pedophilia, agrees that he defends pedophilia in the podcasts.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    Yes. I don't agree entirely with Milo, but it's very dishonest of the media to keep repeating that Milo "defended pedophilia," when he explicitly differentiated pedophilia from what he described as acceptable.

    I must say, I'm surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people have abandoned him.

    It's a shame, because it reframes the Berkeley riots. Pedophilia is one of those things that makes people dumb, so the situation is going to have conservatives thinking, "well... I guess those riots were right after all."
  103. Luke Lea says:

    Wait, I finally figured it out. The Four Horses of the Apocalypse.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Let's look at the data:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjO6l2OfL78
  104. Clearly the late Bronze Age collapse was due to a failure to stop the hurtful and harmful messages young people left each other back then!

    If only the Bronze Age Social Justice Warriors had dealt with the threat in time . . .

    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/02/20/msu-banning-boards-bullying/98151038/

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  105. In one of Plato’s dialogues, he has a character remark that men remember Greece as having formerly been lush and verdant. That the ecology circa 400 b.c was to its former state as bare bones were to a living animal.

    Deforestation, bad farming practices that denuded the soil, drought….who knows. One thing is certain, when men herd goats because only goats can survive on what’s available for grazing, then the landscape is just one step from total failure. Goat will eat any and everything. They are the last stop from collapse. And Greece today is a goat herding culture.

    If it’s true that Greece had formerly been verdant, then perhaps a shift in rainfall pattern in the Mediterranean or something….

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  106. @AKAHorace
    There is a tendency for historians to put present problems into their interpretations of the past. Now it is climate change, an earlier example is "the March of folly" in which a range of political bad choices from the fall of Troy are compared with the Vietnam war.

    Sea People’s looking pretty timely.

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  107. @SPMoore8
    I agree that invoking "Climate Change" as the cause of the late Bronze Age collapse is irredeemably trendy.

    In all likelihood the cause of the collapse was was war, brought on my demographics, a superabundance of one kind of people and a stasis and decline of another kind of people. That seems to explain the main causative mechanisms.

    Volcanic eruptions would have had some impact, because that would affect agriculture, which in turn would have affected migrations, demographics, and so on. So "climate change" has some validity.

    The burning of palaces and so on is probably due to war or raids.

    I see no reason to question the idea that all of the people in the Mediterranean -- especially the Eastern Med and including Egypt -- were in contact. So we have the Egpytians, who were in contact with the "Sea Peoples" as well as the Hittites, and the Hittites were Indo European (IE) but their civilization seemed to collapse in this era, too.

    We have the Dorian invasion, that is, Greek speakers from around modern day Istanbul who appear to have migrated into Mycenaean Greece (all Greeks, but different dialects).

    We have Minoan civilization, which was partly Greek (Linear B) and thus linked to Mycenaean, and possibly with Egypt.

    We have various IE civilizations in western Turkey (not forgetting the Hittites), presumably at least partly Greek (as it would be thereafter).

    And then finally the Phoenicians, who at first glance appear to have been the Vikings of their age.

    So I think basically population pressures in Anatolia (Asia Minor) caused migrations that disrupted the older, more fragile, and largely illiterate (except for the linear scripts) Minoan-Mycenaean elites. The four horsemen followed (war, famine, disease, and death) followed by a couple of centuries of rebuilding, followed by the emergence of the Greek civilization we know, which maintained continuity of memory because it had a reliable form of communication via a reliable alphabet.

    Jaynes' thesis, that emerging consciousness had something to do with this, fundamentally comes down to two things: first, that the meaning of words and the words used to express thoughts and internal forms of awareness changed over the centuries: yet, all of us still use older locutions, when we say things like, "it came to me" and so on. The second point of Jaynes' thesis is the fact of schizophrenia, most especially the phenomenon of hearing voices. However, most people hear voices, including their own, when they are thinking or writing. My guess is that the basic phenomenon is unchanged over the years, but the change in the terms we use to describe it has changed the way we think and talk about it; most particularly, I think we are far more introspective than your typical old timer would have been. Elaborating this would involve invoking a form of Sapir-Whorf, I think.
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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    That book was assigned reading for my coursework in college. Glad to see Julian (RIP) still gets press. It remains a compelling thesis.
    , @El Dato
    That book blows the mind.

    Not 100% convincing, but still.

    Daniel Dennett had a good review on it:

    http://www.julianjaynes.org/pdf/dennett_jaynes-software-archeology.pdf
  108. The Z Blog says: • Website

    A more productive line of inquiry is to consider the economic model of these Bronze Age civilizations. The the time the Sea People arrived, assuming they did and either had numbers or better weapons, the organizational model of the Bronze Age societies had advanced to its limit. The palace economies and their political organization had extended well beyond the point of diminishing returns. That sort of organizational model is great on the small scale, but once these societies grew and prospered, they became brittle.

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  109. @Diversity Heretic
    A tablet discovered in an archeological excavation of an ancient Near East city at the level pertaining to the time of the invasion of the Peoples of the Sea has just been translated:

    Our women HATE HATE HATE the beta males who built and maintain this city, but think that those Sea People men are real studs!

    Loud LOL

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  110. TheJester says:
    @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    Rome … Britain … France … Belgium … Netherlands … USA

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    Historically, at first, the capitals of empires tend to benefit from imperial conquest with respect to trade and resources. However, at some point, the tables turn on the empires as the imperial conquests financially “eat” the seats of imperial power; that is, the empires can no longer afford their empires and undergo a financial collapse of one kind or another.

    Lacking weak or non-existence borders within their empires, it is also often the case that the seats of imperial power are finally overcome with immigrants from their imperial conquests. At that point, if the seat of imperial power was a nation state, it also ceases to exist.

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  111. @Desiderius
    https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Consciousness-Breakdown-Bicameral-Mind/dp/0618057072

    That book was assigned reading for my coursework in college. Glad to see Julian (RIP) still gets press. It remains a compelling thesis.

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  112. @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    The Egyptians were never conquered by the Hittites. The closest the Hittites ever got to Egypt was Kadesh. Are you thinking of the Hyskos? But they only occupied northern Egypt and for a relatively short period.

    Heavy cavalry was a military innovation that gave barbarians a big, albeit temporary, advantage over the Roman empires. The Byzantines acknowledged this by adopting the innovation as their cataphracts.

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    • Replies: @TheJester
    Calvary cannot operate against organized, close-ranked Roman Legions or other phalanxes of infantry armed with spears, pikes, or bayonets. Horses will not move against them. This is why the Swiss pikemen defeated armored cavalry in the Battle of Nancy in 1477 and why Wellington's forces arranged in infantry squares survived eleven charges of French cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

    The problem with the Byzantines is that the Roman infantry had much earlier given up their armor and close-formation warfare in the late 4th Century. From that time forward, Roman infantry fought as mobs (they were mobs of barbarians) ... just like everyone else, including their barbarian enemies. Whether armored or not, cavalry work very well against disorganized mobs that, after the Roman Legions, typified infantry in warfare until the end of the Middle Ages.

    A measure of the effectiveness of organized, close-ranked Roman Legions against mobs and calvary is perhaps best illustrated when 230,000 Britains attacked 10,000 Legionnaires during the Iceni rebellion in Britain in 58 AD. Tacitus reports that almost eighty thousand Britons were slaughtered compared to only four hundred Romans dead. The Britons had cavalry and chariots but, due to Suetonius' clever placement of the Legions, the horses would not move on the Roman front (a wall of shields, spears, and swords) and the Britons could not get on the Roman flanks.
    , @Mr. Anon
    "Are you thinking of the Hyskos?"

    Yes, probably.
  113. TBA says:
    @Anonymous
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k33n-TmM8Sw

    I thought this was a joke, but apparently this organization is real (and ACLU approved):

    https://www.ipeewithlgbt.org/

    BTW, separate lavatories are obviously discriminatory to everyone except hermaphrodites. So what?

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  114. Lurker says:
    @Pat Hannagan
    Stevo, I keep warning you about the English propensity for pederasty and pomposity but you adamantly refuse to notice.

    Americans have been falling in unrequited love with these glib visiting Brits since frontier days. Every time a 19th-c. British author overspent on child prostitutes or laudanum, he or she embarked on an American lecture tour to repair the family finances, following Dickens’ path from one muddy American boomtown to the next. At every stop the author would let the yokels adore him for a few minutes, then retire to make careful notes on the locals’ ignorance, foul table manners and general stupidity for the scathing book to be published once safe in London.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NZ04BG7TfA

    I say, steady on old chap.

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  115. @unit472
    Interesting factoid in the Guardian concerning the cold weather in Southern Europe making produce scarce in Northern Europe. To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.

    In a less complex ancient world you could have something like that going on. Crop failure puts a premium on food supplies which urban elites, having more gold, are able to buy up. The gold is redistributed to the hinterland but, because the rural labor force is starved, it is weakened left vulnerable to disease and unable to resume agricultural production at anything like the prior level. Hick landowners are left with a pot of worthless gold though.

    I don’t think people are buying lettuce for the calories.

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  116. ogunsiron says:
    @Glossy
    By the way, here's an Egyptian relief showing a Sherden soldier, a member of the Sea Peoples:

    http://cobalt.rocky.edu/~mark.moak/321sherden.jpg

    That's the earliest realistic representation of the European facial type that I'm aware of. The Sherden were either from Sardinia, or invaded Sardinia in the ~1200 BC mayhem, giving it their name.

    Eastern baltic nose profile, but that’s is pretty far from Sardinia.

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  117. I believe it was caused by steppe barbarians led by nudist bodybuilder @BronzeAgePerv. Purification of world. Revolt of the damned. Destruction of the cities!

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  118. @Glossy
    It seems that the Sea Peoples, who caused the collapse by invading the centers of civilization, came from Greece and Italy. Why do invasions like that happen when they happen is difficult to say. Why did the Viking Age happen, the Arab invasions of the 7th century, the Germanic invasions of the 5th century, the Mongol invasion, the Huns' invasion? Sometimes tribal groups rise up and start raiding.

    Maybe a strong personality united them for a while. We just don't know who the Sea People's Ghinghis Khan/Mohammed figure was because they didn't leave any records. Maybe there were other reasons.

    Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God's wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything.

    I recommend reading the book in question. The author very specifically does not suggest that any one cause was responsible for the international collapse of civilization that took place around and just after 1200 BC. In particular he makes a powerful case that it’s impossible to establish a causal link between the appearance of the “Sea Peoples” and the ultimate collapse. He does believe that climate change and its adverse impact on agriculture played a role but that climate change was not alone sufficient to explain the collapse and was only one of many factors.

    The author’s chief point is that the late Bronze age civilization of the eastern Mediterranean, the Levant, Egypt, and Anatolia bore some striking resemblances to our current globalist civilization. It was highly advanced and sophisticated. The nation states that it comprised were linked by a complex of political and mercantile ties. The elites shared common interests that were maintained via a sophisticated diplomatic system. To its elites and even its most humble inhabitants the system appeared to be an eternal and indestructible marvel.

    Yet within fifty years the system was reduced to barbaric chaos. Governments were overthrown by internal rebellions and invasions. Nation states and empires collapsed into feudal fiefdoms. Cities were reduced to uninhabited rubble. Technologies were lost, infrastructure disintegrated, literacy disappeared and whole systems of writing became indecipherable to this day. Art and architecture except of the most primitive nature ceased to exist.

    Anyone reading the book is left with a sense that a similar concatenation of disasters could reduce our current civilization in much the same way. I think one of the the author’s primary intentions was to make his readers aware of this possibility.

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    • Replies: @Chriscom
    That is very well put and covers the kind of discussion that made me pick it up in the first place. It just bogs down at some point; I often kept asking myself how could anyone make something this amazing so boring. Reminds me a little of the 1491 by Charles C. Mann, about the pre-Columbian Americas. It was mostly fascinating but he kept going on and on and on and on about maize. It's super duper important, I get it, in all its wondrous implications, but enough already about damn maize.
    , @keypusher
    Anyone reading the book is left with a sense that a similar concatenation of disasters could reduce our current civilization in much the same way. I think one of the the author’s primary intentions was to make his readers aware of this possibility.

    Same with a million books about the fall of the Roman Empire, none of them worth a single dead tree. I d0n't think 1177 BC has anything to teach us. At some point in the last few hundred years, human civilization stopped going around in circles and started heading somewhere. Where, I don't know, but looking backward is not going to help me figure it out.
  119. IA says:
    @Whiskey
    I've read the book, a few years ago, and looked at the map. The ONLY empire that did not completely fall was the Egyptian, and they had to retreat halfway up the Nile. To me that screams it was the Sea Peoples.

    Volcanoes, "Climate change," etc would not disrupt trade routes completely, and yet that is what happened. They just ... ended. Everything. As well as cities, towns, and villages simply vanishing in charcoal and debris, and not being rebuilt.

    The Ottomans when they conquered Constantinople did not tear it down and make it just ash, to be a desert. They rebuilt. And cities and towns similarly situated, on the confluence of rivers, or port anchorages, and so on were destroyed. All the way from Greece down to modern day Iraq and Iran on the Persian Gulf. It seems a great army of people was on the move, some by sea, some by land. Those on Crete moved far inland, into the deep mountains of the center of the island, where it snows often and there is little food. That is just like the behavior of Europeans on the Med and southern Atlantic from around 700 AD until the Barbary Pirates (Muslims) were conquered in the 1830s.

    The Vikings had their longboats, shallow draft boats that could navigate in only two feet of water, could be portaged around obstacles that were not too difficult, and could sail in the open ocean. The Mongols had their composite bows and ponies, which however bogged down in a European winter and fall full of mud and sleet and rain (causing said composite bows to split apart). The Sea Peoples according to the only surviving accounts, from the Egyptians, seemed to have merely overwhelming numbers and the desert on both sides of the Nile allowed a retreat well up it without being outflanked.

    The Muslim/African invasion of Europe is the same. Overwhelming numbers. I presume, in a battle for Europe that turns hot and violent, the story will be huge numerical advantages vs. huge killing advantages. Muslims own most cities but that is a very bad place to be in War; and imagine swarms of networked hunter-killer drones, autonomous killer robots, and custom bio-weapons tailored to DNA markers. Not to mention undoubtedly a comeback for poison gas, quite effective in cities I imagine. In short the 21st Century will be even bloodier if that was possible than the last. All avoidable save elites bringing in ringers to settle Scandinavian ethnic scores against Celts and Saxons and Latins; and women equal to their men who cannot forgive that insult.

    Muslims own most cities

    No way. They live outside cities throughout Europe. They have recently made a few inroads like near Gare du Nord in Paris and Stalingrad Metro but that’s a small area of the city. Muslims have virtually no representation in city government employees and politicos, unions or corporations.

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  120. OT: HBD enters the world of investing.

    Swedish researchers looked at the investing habits of twins and discovered that surprise, surprise, genes explained ~45% of their behavior.

    Quick summary:

    - Genetic differences explain up to 45% of the remaining variation across individual investors after controlling for observable individual characteristics.

    - Genetic factors that influence investment biases also affect behavior in other, noninvestment domains. For example, the correlation between preferences for familiar stocks and familiarity preferences in other domains is due to shared genetic influences.

    Maybe they need to change the name of the field from Behavioral Finance to Genetic Finance.

    Here’s an article on the study. The article links to the study if interested.

    http://www.etf.com/sections/index-investor-corner/swedroe-investing-habits-affected-genetics?nopaging=1

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  121. @Diversity Heretic
    Weren't the Biblical Philistines, Sea Peoples? I've somehow always thought that the word Philistine was derived somehow from Phoenician, but perhaps I'm wrong. The Philistines are portrayed as simply dreadful by the Bible, but from what I've read they were both culturally superior and more interested in getting along with their Hebrew neighbors than were the Hebrews themselves, or at least the Hebrews who wrote the Book of Judges (any accommodation to Philistine deities was totally unacceptable to Yahweh's priests).

    The taking of Canaan occurred at the transition of the Bronze to the Iron Ages. The Israelites were stopped by the Hittites because the Hittites had weapons of iron.

    The Phillistines wrote (and I assume spoke) an Indo-European language. There is an ongoing debate about their precise origins and how they wound up where they did. Despite the propaganda in the OT, any reader of the Bible has to be aware that relations between the Phillistine city states and their Hebrew neighbors were complex and not always hostile, e.g., the many inter-marriages and other contacts in Judges and the years David’s band fought for the Phillistines as layed out in Samuel.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    But why treat the OT as history? The archaeology strongly suggests that it isn't.
  122. @G Pinfold
    And apparently, right on cue, there were riots in the Stockholm exburb of Rinkeby last night. I guess BBQing of cars is an old Viking tradition.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-20/meanwhile-rioting-breaks-out-sweden

    Yeah, I think that when Trump said that there was a big problem in Sweden with immigration “yesterday”, he just misspoke, meaning to say “tomorrow”.

    He does that a lot.

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  123. @Hodag
    My favorite theory is The Philistines, of Goliath fame, were the Sea Peoples settled.

    What is strange is the little impact on language of the region. Alexander was a brief phenomenon but Hellanization was a thing. If there was a pulse from the steppe you would expect Turkic or Indo-European languages. But nobody really knows anything.

    The Phillistines appear to have spoken an Indo-European language. All the extant rulers’ names appear to be Indo-European.

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  124. El Dato says:
    @Desiderius
    https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Consciousness-Breakdown-Bicameral-Mind/dp/0618057072

    That book blows the mind.

    Not 100% convincing, but still.

    Daniel Dennett had a good review on it:

    http://www.julianjaynes.org/pdf/dennett_jaynes-software-archeology.pdf

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  125. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @D. K.
    Volcanic eruption, I suspect:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hekla_3_eruption
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    • Replies: @D. K.
    The Sea Peoples, as the video points out, carried their families along with them. They were not expanding out of the European Mediterranean; they were migrating southeast, in waves! Why? Presumably because they had grown desperate in Europe. Why? I strongly suspect that it was for the same reason that multiple high civilizations-- despite their wealth, sophistication and "home-court advantage"-- fell to waves of relative barbarians, who had to travel to their targets in ships, unable to live off of the land as, say, Alexander's armies later would.

    What might have caused such widespread civilizational debility as to allow the Sea Peoples such success, until Egypt finally was able to stop the barbarians' further encroachment of the Southeast Mediterranean? Again, I suspect that it was climate change, due to extreme volcanic activity [supra]. A similar theory has been posited for the submergence of Europe into its post-Roman Dark Ages, and the subsequent expansion of Islam out of the Arabian Peninsula, and deep into Europe itself. Then, in the winter of 1304 (if I am recalling correctly), the Little Ice Age was first noted in Europe:

    http://www.history.com/news/little-ice-age-big-consequences
  126. It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.

    I doubt its better “weapons”. Better organization, planning, tactics, for sure.
    Sometimes the civilization’s own infrastructure is used against it:
    Exhibit A:

    https://youtu.be/8tgQ75GxAZk?t=21

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  127. Jake says:
    @Smarty
    It's better look who became the winners of the Bronze Age collapse, the civillization that prospered right after collapse was the Semitic Phoenicians from the Levant.

    They traded all over the Mediterranean and probably circumnavigated Africa for the Egyptians, their alphabet became the main influence for the Greek, Latin and many other alpahabets, Carthage during the Iron Age was bigger, richer than Athens or Rome for a good period.

    They spoke a language that was very close to Hebrew (probably the same) and if Hannibal (Hanan Baal) had won the Second Punic War the main language of classic antiquity would be the Semitic Phoenician, the Phoenician alphabet is still used by Samaritans in the West Bank in their Torah.

    The child sacrificing Fertility Cult monsters of the Semitic Levant.

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  128. Moshe says:
    @Smarty
    It's better look who became the winners of the Bronze Age collapse, the civillization that prospered right after collapse was the Semitic Phoenicians from the Levant.

    They traded all over the Mediterranean and probably circumnavigated Africa for the Egyptians, their alphabet became the main influence for the Greek, Latin and many other alpahabets, Carthage during the Iron Age was bigger, richer than Athens or Rome for a good period.

    They spoke a language that was very close to Hebrew (probably the same) and if Hannibal (Hanan Baal) had won the Second Punic War the main language of classic antiquity would be the Semitic Phoenician, the Phoenician alphabet is still used by Samaritans in the West Bank in their Torah.

    The Samaritan alphabet is a derivation as well.

    It looks like a closer derivation than Greek or Modern Hebrew (basically the Palmyra script) but it also has added complexity.

    It’s important to note that the earliest surviving examples of the Ancient Semitic alphabet had itself evolved as well. The script that I use is essentially that of the beautifully etched Mesha Stele.

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  129. Bill P says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Is Jaynes' theory falsifiable?

    Yes. If bicameralism were the default state prior to about 1,000 BC then there should have been tribes in the New World and Oceania where the people still hadn’t developed subjective consciousness when Europeans first ran into them. That doesn’t seem to have been the case.

    However, I do think Jaynes was on to something, but he got it backward. The development of civilization and the Bronze Age allowed for such a concentration of resources that leaders could create monuments, temples and rituals that so dominated social consciousness and mores that people experienced a suspension of disbelief. As long as there was an effective state monopoly on technology and wealth this situation could go on indefinitely. However, when efficient ironworking was discovered the abundance and low cost of weapons and tools led to a democratization of technology and a redistribution of wealth, and ultimately contempt for the gods and public works that characterized hierarchical Bronze Age societies. The next step, naturally, was to sack them.

    The religions that emerged after the Bronze Age are notable for relying much less on monuments and kingly power, and more on texts. The idea that God existed in a collection of words rather than in monuments or people was revolutionary at the time. This may be what influenced Jaynes’ theory most of all: the contrast between “Obey Giant” societies and those in which one could find the Word of God and the Law merely by opening a scroll.

    The 20th century represents something of a return to popular suspension of disbelief. The Age of Dictators, massive public works, and mass communication are all sort of reminiscent of Bronze Age societies. Even the invocation of the Statue of Liberty (with accompanying inscription) as a moral imperative seems pretty familiar when you consider ancient Egyptian monuments with their inscriptions and steles.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Yours is an interesting theory, but I suspect it vastly over-emphasises (((one culture's))) preference for scripture over idols and monuments and imputes anachronistically inaccurate levels of literacy to the populace. For centuries after the collapse in question, religion and civic life continued to center upon monuments and idols, and most people did not read. The Greeks famously had the explicitly religious temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Colossus of Rhodes, all surely inspiring a sense of awe and authority in the hoi polloi. The Persians built the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (designed by Greek architects) long after the collapse. Heck, only the Pyramid of Giza predates the collapse, and Taharqa was still erecting pyramids (focii of religious awe) in the seventh century before Christ.

    I reckon only after monotheism and the proscriptions of idols came to dominate the ancient world via Rome's adoption of Christianity did the shift you describe occur – even the temples in Jerusalem were all built long after the end of the Bronze Age and the concomitant collapse.
  130. @Luke Lea
    Yet another possibility might be a more virulent version of the flu epidemic of 1918, though why that would not have affected more distant barbarian societies who later invaded I do not know.

    Plagues seem to have hit urban-static populations much harder than settlement-nomadics. The Plague of Justinian, when it reached Britain, hit the (Romano-Celtic) British much harder than the (Scando-Germanic) English. Its 7th-century recurrences seem not to have bothered the armies of Islam.

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  131. pyrrhus says:
    @Hodag
    My favorite theory is The Philistines, of Goliath fame, were the Sea Peoples settled.

    What is strange is the little impact on language of the region. Alexander was a brief phenomenon but Hellanization was a thing. If there was a pulse from the steppe you would expect Turkic or Indo-European languages. But nobody really knows anything.

    I think that soil erosion, salting from irrigation, and likely a long drought were major causes. They had been farming the same areas for millennia, and we can still see the evidence today…

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  132. https://youtu.be/0FyLcHxbSRk

    We’ll meet in Mesopotamia
    I am no student of ancient culture
    Before I talk I should read a book
    But there’s one thing that I do know
    There’s a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia

    6 or 8 thousand years ago, they laid down the law
    6 or 8 thousand years ago, they laid down the law

    I’ll meet ya by the third pyramid
    I’ll meet ya by the third pyramid — lyrics from “Mesopotamia” by the B-52s — the album Mesopotamia was produced by David Byrne

    The American Empire ain’t no “sophisticated civilization” — my reaction to Sailer’s blog entry

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  133. Glossy says: • Website
    @27 year old
    >Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God’s wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything

    Hilarious, but class struggle is actually the best way to explain everything.

    I think ethno-nationalism and HBD provide the best available explanations of politics and history. Constant struggles between ethnic groups which are good and bad at different things.

    Different environments and occupations shape the evolution of different ethnic groups, their abilities, emotional profiles.

    Class and religion are mostly proxies for ethnicity, which is primarily genetic.

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  134. @Anon
    Sea Peoples are nothing compared to dangers we face today.

    Sea Peoples were invasive and destructive, but they had the genetic potential to build civilization.

    It's like Germanic, Celts, and Turks could be invasive and destroy stuff all over... but they also could build upon the destruction and invasion. Germanic folks later built civilization. So did the Turkics. And Celtics.

    In contrast, black Africans have not proven civilizational capability.

    Europeans Europeanize wherever they go. Asians Asianize. Arabs Arabize. Hindus hinduize.
    Some build civilizations better than others. White Europeans have demonstrated best ability to build and make progress.
    Africans have proven they have the least ability to build stuff. Africanization is mostly destructive.

    So, African takeover of Europe will be totally different from Germanic Barbarian conquests or even Turkic or Moorish invasions.
    It will spell the end of civilization, a permanent Detroitization of the world. A Europe that is Africanized is finished forever. It will not be a dark age followed by new beginning. It will be permanent dark age... like most of black Africa.

    In the end, it's not about 'liberal democracy' or some such. Sure, liberal democracy is nice, but what really makes a system work is a combination of race/genes, culture, values, work ethic, manners, habits, and attitudes.

    Consider some of the Bio-Cultural Ruling Systems:

    Anglocratic
    Germanocratic(includes Scandinavia and is close to Anglocracy)
    Judeocratic
    Slavocratic
    Latinocratic
    Sinocratic(of which even Japan may be a part)
    Arabocratic
    Indocratic(hindu stuff)
    Afrocratic

    I would argue that Anglocracy without democracy will work better than Afrocracy with democracy. Anglocracy is a system of rule by sober, serious, intelligent, and well-mannered peoples(before UK allowed the yobs to run wild). Consider Hong Kong. Under most of British rule, it was no democracy.
    It was Anglocratic in terms of elite rule. And most of society was Sinocratic, managed by Chinese as middlemen and workers. And it worked. How did it work without 'liberal democracy'? Cuz Anglocracy was clean and efficient, and Sinocracy was sober and hardworking. Singapore was also the result of fusion of Anglocracy and Sinocracy.
    And even today, Singapore is not a liberal democracy. But things run well there cuz Sinocracy, though not very innovative, is serious and intelligent.

    Now, I'm not knocking liberal democracy. But the REAL reason why one system works and another doesn't has MORE to do with combo of genes, values, work ethic, manners, and attitudes.
    In the 19th century, France was sometimes 'democratic' whereas Germany was ruled by imperial system. And yet, Germans surged ahead, even surpassing UK in industry and many academic/scientific fields. How was that possible when Germany didn't have liberal democracy? Cuz its Germanocratic virtues were harder version of Anglocracy.

    Israel proves that Judeocracy works very well too.

    Indocracy is a mixed bag cuz of caste legacy and genetic diversity of India. It works in some ways, in other ways it's a mess.

    But Afrocracy? You can instruct Africans in all the liberal democratic theories around the world. It won't do much good. African genetics leads to Africanization of society. And African manners, temperament, and etc lead to social chaos, though I don't mind when they talk about how homos 'eat da poo poo'.

    Now, compare Anglocracy vs Latinocracy.

    Some will say US made more progress cuz of liberal democracy whereas Latin America came later to democracy. But really?
    Is democracy really such a charm? But Mexico in late 19th century was democratic whereas Germany wasn't. Yet, Germany did so much more. And Japan, though undemocratic, achieved more than Mexico from late 19th century to WWII era.

    And compare US vs Argentina. The latter had so much potential and had democracy, but why did it lag? Latins ruled with their attitudes and styles. It will build and maintain civilization, but not a very efficient and sober one.

    I would argue that even if the Brits had won the war and American Independence has been crushed, the US under Anglocratic rule(of British) would have achieved nearly just as much.

    Slavocracy? Russia existed for much much longer than the US. And it had many more people than the US in the 19th century. But in short time, Anglos swept across the continent and created a great powerful nation. In contrast, Russians were still digging dirt on the same plot like they'd been for many centuries. Russians then went for communist revolution. It too failed. Why? Cuz Anglocracy has a great combo of order and individuality. It empowers each person as a free agent. But it also instills order and unity and common purpose. In contrast, Slavocratic model was to treat people like cattle, either as serfs or comrades. So, the sense of initiative and responsibility didn't develop in the Russian heart and mind.
    But one good thing about Slavocratic heaviness is greater sense of roots and belonging. In contrast, the Mercurean mobility of Anglocracy may have led to too much atomization and deracination in the end. Of course, Anglocrats of the past understood this danger. This is why they balanced out their globo-mobility with British patriotism, loyalty to Queen, Anglican Church, and race-ism. As Anglocrats were high-spiritedly moving all around the world, there was the danger of becoming one with the natives. So, race-ism was necessary to maintain British unity and uniqueness. And it was good for the natives too since white race-ism meant white men were discouraged from sexually exploiting the native womenfolks. In contrast, the Latinocrats led to much more sexual abuse of local womenfolk in other lands. Hopkins has impressive race-ist attitude in THE BOUNTY. Good man.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVEiScxUQyY

    Judeocracy is very formidable but complicated. Jews have so long operated by latching onto OTHER peoples that one wonders how it would do on its own. Israel is such an experiment, but even it is heavily dependent on the support of great powers. So, the jury is still out on the true power of Judeocracy as an independent ruling system.

    Slavocratic model:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCOzqP9Dt9E

    Hell of a post, anon!

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  135. Boomstick says:

    All those cities burned to the ground is a strong argument for organized violence, and it all happening at the same time is a good argument for some sort of disruptive technology or organization in military affairs. One group gained a military edge and exploited it.

    That’s about the time period that the Aryans were expanding into India, and near the time when iron started being used. Hmmm. It’s a bit late on the Aryan expansion into Europe timeline but maybe it was some sort of bank shot that led to the Western Mediterranean peoples going raiding. That all this happened right around when iron was being adopted seems like too much of a coincidence.

    “Climate change” sounds like a goofy projection of contemporary obsessions onto a distant past.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    I just don't see the Sea People having the numbers to accomplish that at such a scale.

    Another thing that should raise a doubt is what did the invaders/conquerors do immediately after the conquest?

    Did they stick around? If so, is there archaeological evidence of a new infrastructure on top of the old.

    Did they leave? If so, why didn't the indigenous people return, rebuild, and fortify?
  136. Svigor says:
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    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Yep, free trade isn't free trade. It is just another scam to advance the interests of the well-connected.
    , @Cicatrizatic
    That's a pretty good article by Joel Pollak, thanks for sharing.

    While he makes a good discussion of the trade-offs resulting from free trade policies, like most conservative writers favoring free trade, he essentially asserts by fiat that Ricardian theory is sound. In this case, he says, more than ever.

    In fact, the simplifying assumptions made by Ricardian comparative advantage theory have never been more inapplicable than in today's world. Contrary to Ricardo's theoretical assumptions of labor and capital immobility (which were largely applicable in his day), both factors are more mobile than ever, and in particular, capital mobility has come to largely define the trade strategy of multi-nationals.

    Further, national currencies are not defined in terms of gold and silver specie, as they were in Ricardo's day. Thus Hume's species-flow mechanism is not at work here, naturally balancing national trade accounts. This is a huge factor that is largely ignored or perhaps not understood in the trade literature of typical conservatives. I have found that most conservative articles pushing free trade, whether in WSJ, National Review, or Commentary, largely consist of trotting out the names of Smith and Ricardo and then lamenting that these backwards upstart populists just don't understand economic theory.

    You typically hear libertarians and conservatives tell you that trade deficits don't matter. It's no more significant than the fact that you have a trade deficit with your local grocery store. It's just an accounting abstraction.

    But this is obvious nonsense, as there are clear, distinguishing factors in international trade versus domestic or local trade. You do not have to exchange currency to purchase goods at the grocery store. There is a common currency that is recycled by the grocery store back into the local economy of goods and services.

    By contrast, the current combination of the US being the largest consumer nation in the world, having the largest equity and debt markets, and the dollar serving as the world's reserve currency, have produced a situation where the persistent US trade deficit in goods and services can only exist in tandem with asset bubbles in US debt and equity markets.

    While the US runs a massive deficit in trade of goods and services, it also runs a massive surplus in its financial trade account, due to huge foreign investment in the US stock market and US public debt issuances. This is how our trade account balances, by a highly financialized, bubble economy. As the world transitions off of a dollar-reserve system, which will result in a decline of foreign investment in US securities (already happening with China's sell-off of their dollar reserves), the US trade account will be forced to balance in another manner.

    Judy Shelton has a great article in WSJ about how the "efficiencies" from lower-tariff trade policies are largely illusory due to foreign currency manipulation.

    "Free trade" is a one way system where the US removes virtually all trade barriers to its imports, while its trading partners proceed to utilize a vast array of non-tariff barriers that work equally as effective as high tariffs.

    Yes, we get the benefit of cheap consumer goods, but at the cost of permanent low wages for the working class, which brings with it a host of rising social costs, which sometimes take decades to play out and can't be measured and compared immediately with the cost savings from cheaper consumer goods.

    Multi-nationals reap the benefits of the labor cost arbitrage, and conservative pundits are content to pump out the same David Ricardo pieces. From what I can tell, most of them haven't done much in-depth reading of the other side of the issue, and are just pushing a narrative for their corporate donors.

  137. Mark Caplan says: • Website

    What Caused the Late Bronze Age Collapse?

    Nobody has yet posited ennui.

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    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    Nobody has yet posited ennui.
     
    I would if I wasn't so tired.
  138. Svigor says:

    Steve, are you going to be writing an article defending Milo against the anti-free speech people at CPAC who are preventing him from speaking there?

    [G**gle search] CPAC is funded by

    Top hit:

    Who Pays for America’s Biggest Conservative Gathering?

    The story of how the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, mushroomed from a small, informal gathering of the right into a multimillion-dollar can’t-miss pageant for the Republican Party is reflected in its corporate sponsors. It’s underwritten by the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, the Trump Organization Inc. and the Motion Picture Association of America in addition to much more modestly moneyed religious and small-government interest groups.

    Berkeley absolutely gets gobs of public money. Their suppression of free speech is illegal (Congress gives them money, they suppress the First Amendment, so Congress is funding suppression of the First Amendment, which is un-Constitutional and illegal).

    I might enjoy an article on why Soros doesn’t invite Milo to speak, though. Or, perhaps more appropriately, why Jeffrey Epstein doesn’t.

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  139. Rob McX says:
    @Expletive Deleted

    To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.
     
    I guess that makes the Scots antifragile in that respect. UK gov. is forever whining at them to change their (admittedly grotesque and primitive) dietary habits, eat up their "5-a-day"salads and fruit like good barbarians, and lay off the Buckfast and deep-fried MarsBars, because it costs the NHS money. They die a decade or more earlier than Home Counties (former Imperial Core territory) English. And they don't care, apparently.
    Lettuce could vanish along with every vegetable on the planet (apart from rutabaga/turnips, each January) and I doubt it would even be noticed in Glasgow. On the other hand, a lard and malting barley shortage would probably finish them off for good.

    I thought the deep-fried Mars bars started as an urban myth. Apparently some chip shop owner then cashed in on the news coverage it was getting by turning it into reality (or maybe that was just part of the myth too).

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    • Replies: @benjaminl
    The Texas State Fair has basically proven that anything and everything edible can be deep-fried. (But not that it should be.) Waiting for David Hackett Fischer to explain that one...

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/31488/25-deep-fried-foods-texas-state-fair
    , @Expletive Deleted
    Perhaps. I admit I don't move in those circles. I do know that deep-fried pizza is a Thing, I had one once, as emergency anti-hypothermia rations on the way up the A9 somewhere (Aviemore possibly? I was looking for some snow, old car not heated). Basically a defrosted industrial "pizza" folded calzone-style, and dunked in the boiling lard vat to heat it up. Like jazz, delicious when hot; disgusting when cool.
  140. @Diversity Heretic
    Where does the degeneracy end? Maybe we need our own "Sea Peoples" invasion to let dignity be restored to the people.

    Maybe we need our own “Sea Peoples” invasion to let dignity be restored to the people.

    Well, you know the saying.

    B students work of C students, and the A students teach.

    So we’ve already got the C people in charge of much that matters.

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  141. Randal says:
    @ThreeCranes
    David, your theory has traction.

    Steve, a former engineering technology professor of mine who also had a Masters degree in history, pointed out the fallacy in the iron weapons superior to bronze leading to civilization collapse theory. It is this.

    Work-hardened bronze is superior in every way to primitive cast iron as a material for weapons.

    Too many of us confuse bronze with brass or copper. Just because your copper house wire is relatively flexible doesn't mean that all copper alloys are. And, have you noticed that the more you bend the wire around and through studs and joists, the more difficult it is to bend? That's work hardening. Whereas iron gets soft when bent repeatedly, bronze gets harder, so primitive smiths just banged on it a lot to toughen it up.

    I tried to cut threads into bronze alloy rods with which I was fastening ballast onto the bottom of a boat I was building. And gave up. I took them to a machine shop. The bronze alloy I had selected was so tough I couldn't cut it by hand, even with brand new HSS taps and dies.

    Because of the way it was smelted, early iron had so much carbon in it that it was brittle. While it may have been cheap and abundant, it didn't make a superior weapon to bronze. Brittle stuff shatters upon impact; it's hard, really hard, but not tough. A man armed with a bronze tipped spear or sword would not have been at any disadvantage against one armed with primitive iron. (Note that I say "primitive" because now we know how to exclude much of the carbon iron takes up during smelting and can make carbon steels that are fantastically strong, hard and tough).

    As David says, bronze is relatively scarce compared to iron (which is after all, one of the most abundant elements in the Earth's crust, so much so that all those colors used in paleo cave paintings are "rust" colored. Artists call them earth pigments, Raw and burnt umber, siennas, English and Venetian Red etc. are just clays with a high iron content) and so bronze is a "noble" metal not only because it is scarce, but also because it lasts. Just look at the condition of the statues that have been exhumed from Ancient Greek sites.

    Even today, bronze hardware aboard a yacht is, in spite of its dull patina, more valued and more expensive than the shiniest stainless steel. Though, as ever, the ignorant masses are blinded by shiny reflections and are easily misled by glitz and glitter, a real sailor disdains gaudy stainless steel for far more elitist (and expensive) bronze.

    On the other hand, there is the curious legend that the most conservative Greek city-state, Sparta, retained iron as the base of their currency. To avoid contamination by the corrupting influence of their degenerate neighbors, the Spartans wouldn't accept gold, silver or bronze as mediums of trade and anyone caught hoarding them was punished. So while this may be an exaggeration, it may be an echo of the invasion Steve is talking about. The legacy of a iron-girt warrior cult dedicated to conquering and its fear of losing its identity by assimilation with the people they conquered.

    So maybe the iron people won out not because of (primitive) iron's superiority to bronze as an edged weapon, but rather because, due to iron's relative abundance, hoards of invaders could be armed who then overran those civilizations in which only the nobility could afford to arm themselves with bronze.

    The old civilization was hierarchical and ascribed to each class an element, gold, silver and bronze (iron wasn't even on the map). Plato's use of this scheme in The Republic is a relic of this and evidence that though conquered the old civilization resurfaced and came to rule the new Rulers. Just as we say, "First Rome conquered Greece and then Greece conquered Rome" so too did the old nobility of the Bronze Age civilization eventually prevail.

    So maybe the iron people won out not because of (primitive) iron’s superiority to bronze as an edged weapon, but rather because, due to iron’s relative abundance, hoards of invaders could be armed who then overran those civilizations in which only the nobility could afford to arm themselves with bronze.

    This argument reminds me of the often argued reason for guns replacing bows, despite early guns being far inferior to bows/longbows for most military purposes, being that it’s a lot easier and quicker to teach a man to use a primitive gun than to use a bow properly (especially a longbow). Crossbows were likewise easy to learn to use, but much more expensive to make.

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    • Replies: @Uebersetzer
    It could take years to train men in the use of the longbow, whereas being reasonably proficient with a primitive gun only took days, or at most weeks. Although the English scored some famous victories over armoured French cavalry with the longbow, there is still some debate as to how effective longbows were against good quality plate armour. Whereas primitive guns could be relied on to pierce armour, and the more that guns dominated, the less armour there was on the battlefield, as it added weight without giving sufficient protection.
  142. Anonym says:
    @Bill
    It's not really a matter of liking. One of the functions of the established church is to define good guys and bad guys, as a kind of coordination mechanism. The fact that Trump seems to have no allies in the established church is bad for him and risky for the established church. Hannity is just some provincial, rabble-rousing preacher. He isn't a bishop.

    I'm baffled at the failure of the establishment to cut a deal with Trump. Why are they trying to crush him instead?

    I’m baffled at the failure of the establishment to cut a deal with Trump. Why are they trying to crush him instead?

    Factions that won’t negotiate, inviolable deals Trump made with us that can’t be broken. Trump has tried to be accommodating, as best he can. That’s the tale of his appointees.

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  143. @Boomstick
    All those cities burned to the ground is a strong argument for organized violence, and it all happening at the same time is a good argument for some sort of disruptive technology or organization in military affairs. One group gained a military edge and exploited it.

    That's about the time period that the Aryans were expanding into India, and near the time when iron started being used. Hmmm. It's a bit late on the Aryan expansion into Europe timeline but maybe it was some sort of bank shot that led to the Western Mediterranean peoples going raiding. That all this happened right around when iron was being adopted seems like too much of a coincidence.

    "Climate change" sounds like a goofy projection of contemporary obsessions onto a distant past.

    I just don’t see the Sea People having the numbers to accomplish that at such a scale.

    Another thing that should raise a doubt is what did the invaders/conquerors do immediately after the conquest?

    Did they stick around? If so, is there archaeological evidence of a new infrastructure on top of the old.

    Did they leave? If so, why didn’t the indigenous people return, rebuild, and fortify?

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    • Replies: @Boomstick
    1200 BC is around the same time as a possible "Dorian invasion" of the Mycenaean Greeks by what is thought to be Macedonians. All the major palaces were burned and the area depopulated, but the newcomers (if any) didn't seem to leave behind a culture for another century or two. When the archeological record picks up again languages and culture have changed to Dorian.

    Maybe our hypothetical invaders were pastoral and illiterate, and didn't leave much in the way of artifacts behind after they slotted the locals. But this requires the invaders to be really good at demolishing walled, organized cities while not having a very advanced civilization themselves.

    Disease? Maybe, but one would expect the victims to mention something, seeing as how they mentioned the Sea People hooligans. It all seems very strange that the Hittite empire collapsed, the Greeks collapsed, the Near East was burned, and the Egyptians hard pressed all within about 50 years of each other. Multiple empires, multiple city-states, of multiple ethnicities all destroyed in the space of a few decades. The invaders are mentioned prominently, but disease isn't. Famine? OK, but there can be multiple causes of that, including marauding hooligans burning crops and stopping trade.

    Maybe there was an ancient Alexander, or a few "Odysseus, sacker of cities" types that had a following, but whose names are lost to history.
  144. Steve often reads my mind through my tinfoil hat. (Actually it’s Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil.)

    I was just remembering last night that I read somewhere (here on Unz?) that maybe the ancient Europeans like the Greeks and even perhaps the Romans were more Northern European than we think today. What I mean is, maybe there were waves of people who came up from the south into Europe and mixed with and displaced the more northern types.

    In other words, perhaps the folks you meet in Greece and Rome today aren’t really like the ancients who built their great old civilizations.

    If this sounds like the ramblings of a poorly educated man lazily writing a comment on a sunny day, it is.

    Anyway, not having any Latin in me that I’m aware of, I am suspicious of the way our Roman-dominated history depicts the Germanic peoples, people like “Attila the Hun,” for example, as “barbarians.” There are great peoples all over Europe who trace their ancestry to those “barbarians.” Today those people are kicking the economic crap out of the Latins and Mediterranians who claim the great ancient Rome and Greece as their own.

    Bottom line: Maybe the threat that is washing up on European shores now is just like previous waves down through history.

    (In a similar vein, “Global Warming” is something that has happened repeatedly in Earth’s long history. The current trend is just part of the latest cycle. Of THIS I am certain. It is natural, and what we must do is prepare for it, NOT blame ourselves and destroy our way of life.)

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    • Replies: @Achilles

    maybe the ancient Europeans like the Greeks and even perhaps the Romans were more Northern European than we think today.
     
    Much civilizational advance was made around the shores of the Black Sea, from the Caucasus up to the Pontic Steppe, and over to the Danube basin and into the Balkans.

    The Dispilio tablet found in a lake in the Balkan peninsula has been dated to ca 5260 B.C. and has what appears to be written symbols on it, two millennia before Sumerian proto-writing. There were towns of thousands of people in the Danube valley millennia before the earliest urban settlements of Sumer. But Mesopotamia became known in the popular imagination as the cradle of civilization because the archaeological remains of mud brick endured in an arid climate.

    Mycenaean culture can be traced back to the north shore of the Black Sea. Troy was probably founded by peoples from the shore of the Black Sea. The Hittites probably came from the north.

    Troy was well situated to control the critical passage to the Black Sea because entering the Black Sea from the south through the strait of Marmara was difficult due to currents, and ships generally sailed close to the Trojan shoreline in order to make it through the strait.

    If we had the whole story, I'd guess quite a bit of the beginnings of Northern Mediterranean civilization had its origin in peoples coming out of the Black Sea region.

    The Black Sea region has an argument to make as the matrix of civilization.
    , @Greg Pandatshang
    Very likely that the ancients were less "Mediterranean" looking than their modern posterity is. But the simplest explanation is that that's post-Islamic. Remember that Sicily and parts of southern Italy were ruled by Arabs for a couple hundred years.

    If invading Sea Peoples repopulated parts of the eastern Mediterranean after the collapse, genome research would show the effect. Could be, but I don't remember hearing about it. Note that Greece was already Greek-speaking and stayed that way. Egypt remained Egyptian-speaking.
  145. @Cortes
    Off topic, of course, but thought the article linked might appeal to you:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/21/heterosexual-couples-should-not-be-allowed-civil-partnerships-court-rules
    Read More
    • Replies: @Barnard
    Average salary is $72,000 a year, which I would guess is more than most players would make outside of basketball. Many also play in other countries during the WNBA's offseason. A story like that does make you wonder if more players don't get driven from the league because of it's culture. It's not like more than a few are getting rich playing the WNBA.


    https://www.reference.com/sports-active-lifestyle/much-money-wnba-players-make-99a442a0580783ac
  146. Svigor says:

    In short the 21st Century will be even bloodier if that was possible than the last. All avoidable save elites bringing in ringers to settle Scandinavian ethnic scores against Celts and Saxons and Latins; and women equal to their men who cannot forgive that insult.

    Makes sense to omit the Jews; they obviously have no power, no animus, and bear no grudges.

    Stevo, I keep warning you about the English propensity for pederasty and pomposity but you adamantly refuse to notice.

    Maybe he thinks about the Catholic predilection for boy-buggery before responding.

    Whew, is there anything that can’t be blamed on ‘climate change’? ‘Climate change’ is like original sin, except for liberals.

    I for one encourage any and all talk of “climate change” before the 20th century. Couldn’t do a better job sapping if they tried.

    If we face a true civilizational collapse, nobody will know the first thing about Merkel.

    Fortunately, a true civilizational collapse is essentially impossible. Try writing one up. You have to do stuff like the guys who wrote Revolution did (and they weren’t even trying to shoehorn a total collapse).

    Keep in mind that early Iron weapons werent superior to bronze.In fact the early high-tin hand hammered bronze used in this time period is quite a bit harder than early iron. The only reason iron became common was its cheapness and availability. Its not until people figured out how to turn Iron into steel that iron weapons became the better choice.

    Quantity has a quality all its own…

    The Eastern Empire was able to stop the rot in time.

    Best theory I’ve read for why the eastern Empire survived is that Greece was wealthier, with more stable institutions.

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  147. @Bruce
    There are Periclean tombstones showing something like clumsy skateboards, according to Man the Maker, Forbes. It would be cool if that's what swift-footed Achilles used at Troy. And why didn't the ancient Egyptians invent the trading velocipede and conquer the world? Slackers.

    Bruce, There is a TV show called “Ancient Aliens”, where every advance by civilized man is attributable to Space Beings. Any structure on some distant island that included smooth surfaced stones or any Inca or Aztec pyramid had to be the work of space aliens using lasers and levitation beams. Of course, the glorious, soaring Cathedrals of Europe with 140′ high naves, flying buttresses, bronze bells, in 200 foot high bell towers, copper roofs, gutters and drains and stain glass windows, well they’re not as cool as Machu Pichu, even though the were built centuries prior by European craftsmen who left written plans and drawings of their work. And one more thing, 3 dimensional statues are way cooler than bas relief carvings.

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  148. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Jack Hanson
    No, its not. Its obvious he was talking about his own relationship in the podcast versus the smear by the media (and CTR trolls like yourself) that he was defending pedophilia.

    This is all part of a larger left wing media hit on Milo. 4Chan posted about this before it happened, and so far its been going down as anon said it would.

    There are two podcasts, the Joe Rogan show and some other random one, in which he clearly does defend pedophilia. There’s no editing involved. You can listen to the podcasts straight through and come away with the same impression. At best you could say that he doesn’t advocate for it, although even that is debatable since he does promote it as a good thing for young homosexuals in the podcasts.

    These podcasts were posted months ago. Pretty much all of the alt-right, except for homosexuals and trolls trying to associate the alt-right with homosexuality and pedophilia, agrees that he defends pedophilia in the podcasts.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    There's a difference between finding a 16 year old attractive and finding a 6 year old attractive. That's why there are classes of pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. Milo, as a homosexual, is clearly thinking about the last of those classes, that is, young males who are under the age of consent. I think it's rather gross just as I find homosexuality rather distasteful but I can't deny that a number of my female ancestors were married to men much older than they were by the time they turned 16.

    I can certainly understand that conservatives -- who have a very tenuous relationship with gays to begin with -- are going to find these revelations odious but anyone who has followed any gay writers knows about this syndrome, it was after the nature of the relationship of Socrates and Alcibiades.

    Having said all that, calling this "pedophilia" is a bit of a stretch, sort of like calling Traci Lords porn movies "child pornography", and yet, by law, they are, and, it is.
  149. @Auntie Analogue
    Weapons are not always mineral. Weapons may also be vegetable or animal.

    Yet weapons, barbarian or not, need not be the chief cause of civilizational demise.

    One group's higher fertility amassing toward demographic replacement is a weapon. So is direct mass migration, armed or unarmed. And migrations often trigger exodus migrations of put-upon host civilizations. Did some migrations meet their extinction at dead end destinations?

    Did plague spread and bring down the Bronze Age? Did famine starve great numbers of people?

    For one example, Minoan civilization vanished suddenly, most likely from earthquake and tsunami at the eruption of the volcano on Thera (now Santorini).

    Auntie, Very good, germs have killed more than atomic bombs and conventional bombs, actually more than any weapon.

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  150. @candid_observer
    Wasn't the important impact of iron that it was readily available, so that even the commoners could use it for weapons, and it doomed the elite warrior/aristocracy classes?

    One man's fall of civilization is another man's liberation from tyranny.

    candid, I don’t know how readily available iron is/was. Germany fought WWI and WWII using iron ore mostly from Sweden. As far as I know no Amerindians on either American continent produced iron implements. European explorers discovered people in the Americas that were basically still in the stone age using flint, bone or stone weapons and implements.

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  151. Svigor says:

    Bottom line: Maybe the threat that is washing up on European shores now is just like previous waves down through history.

    Maybe. On the other hand, maybe HBD is real. Africans and West Asians have had longer since “first contact” with advanced civilization than Northern Europeans, but Northern Europeans passed Africans and West Asians a long time ago.

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  152. Svigor says:

    Candid, that article is absolutely priceless. Total Sailer bait:

    “Immigration will come with some cost, and we will likely have a bit more crime — but that’s in a society with low crime rates and in a society that works really well, so in my opinion, it’s something we can live with,” he said. “I know everybody won’t agree with that. But immigration will not double the crime rate, make everybody go broke or turn Sweden into a living hell.”

    Three cheers for immigration!!!

    I can see the ad campaign now: “Vote for us; it’ll cost you, and you’ll have more crime, but you can live with it. We won’t double the crime rate, make you go broke, or turn your life into a living Hell.”

    Although terrorism is a concern for Sweden — an Iraqi-born Swede blew himself up in central Stockholm in 2010 — the authorities say they are equally worried about racist hate crimes, including attacks on migrants.

    My God, it gets better! “We’re just as worried about the retaliatory ‘hate crimes’ against immigrants that inevitably accompany the influx of incompatible immigrants, so immigration has that going for it.”

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    I can see the ad campaign now: “Vote for us; it’ll cost you, and you’ll have more crime, but you can live with it. We won’t double the crime rate, make you go broke, or turn your life into a living Hell.”

    I hope that when society eventually breaks down and the Swedish inner viking is rediscovered and reforged, the mea culpas from the judges, politicians, media people, NGOs etc who were pushing the immigration and curbing discussion are ignored.
  153. Patrick B says:
    @AaronB
    Yes, it's so mystifying what caused the collapse of Bronze Age civilizations. Since the historical record shows that it's normal for civilizations to endure forever, clearly some catastrophe must have brought about this unique event.

    lol

    Rather, all civilizations are inherently unstable projects that exhaust themselves after a few centuries, because the principle of expansion, growth, and increasing complexity upon which they rest are inherently self-devouring.

    It is weird to find people searching for unique causes for this or that collapse, failing to see their chosen collapse as one in a long series of entirely similar and predictable events.

    The real question is why some civilizations endure so much longer than others, like Egypt and China. The answer is usually that the destabilizing element of egotistic expansion is much reduced.

    “The real question is why some civilizations endure so much longer than others, like Egypt and China. The answer is usually that the destabilizing element of egotistic expansion is much reduced.”

    Are you seriously this naive? Have you ever hung out with a group of Chinese businessmen – I can’t him of people more egotistical or expansionist.

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    • Replies: @keypusher
    Egypt and China endured because they were surrounded by deserts and not-very-numerous barbarians. They didn't expand (actually the Chinese did push west, slowly) because every surrounding place was worse than what they already had.
    , @AaronB
    You are quite correct, Patrick. The Chinese have proven to lack resiliency to the Western disease, and are no longer what they used to be. These days they are as egoistic as any Westerner, even more. Which is why China doesn't have much of a future as a distinctive civilization, and it's ancient unique character has finally come to an end. China seems doomed to live on as a second or third rate Western country, and will eventually devour itself like we are doing.

    However, even if China is at long last over, it did survive longer than many others, with a philosophy that did not admire egoistic expansion as a way of life.
  154. benjaminl says:
    @Rob McX
    I thought the deep-fried Mars bars started as an urban myth. Apparently some chip shop owner then cashed in on the news coverage it was getting by turning it into reality (or maybe that was just part of the myth too).

    The Texas State Fair has basically proven that anything and everything edible can be deep-fried. (But not that it should be.) Waiting for David Hackett Fischer to explain that one…

    http://mentalfloss.com/article/31488/25-deep-fried-foods-texas-state-fair

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  155. Daniel H says:
    @Jon Halpenny
    I read one time a late Roman writer remarked that the Germans were fearsomely armed. Apparently, a Germanic warrior could cut a horse in half with his huge broadsword.

    Given the Germans tended to be larger than the Romans they may have had both a physical and technological advantage over the Romans.

    Roman infantry tactics were far superior. Overwhelmed any advantage an adversary may have had in weaponry, size, strength, personal courage.

    Roman infantry marched into battle with extreme discipline. Shoulder to shoulder, large shield protecting most of the front and covering his fellow’s right, leaving just enough room to deliver devastating thrusts from the short sword. Protected by heavy armor: helmet, leather neck protection, body armor, greaves.

    Just prior to engagement the adversary’s ranks were softened up the peltasts: light infantry wielding javelins and slinging bullets, who disengaged just prior to the clash of the fully armored infantry.

    The foot soldiers were kept focused by their officers who directed, guided and exhorted from the rear of the ranks.

    Truly devastating force. They seldom lost. One noted and famous example was Varus and his legions, massacred to a man during an ill-fated German expedition in the year 9 A.D. It is telling that the legions were ambushed and massacred on a narrow trail that traversed forest and swamp. Not an area that Romans would have chosen for battle and that nullified their tactical strength. Analogous to the German setback before Moscow in 1941 during WWII. All tactical advantages nullified by terrain, climate, overextended logistics.

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  156. TheJester says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    The Egyptians were never conquered by the Hittites. The closest the Hittites ever got to Egypt was Kadesh. Are you thinking of the Hyskos? But they only occupied northern Egypt and for a relatively short period.

    Heavy cavalry was a military innovation that gave barbarians a big, albeit temporary, advantage over the Roman empires. The Byzantines acknowledged this by adopting the innovation as their cataphracts.

    Calvary cannot operate against organized, close-ranked Roman Legions or other phalanxes of infantry armed with spears, pikes, or bayonets. Horses will not move against them. This is why the Swiss pikemen defeated armored cavalry in the Battle of Nancy in 1477 and why Wellington’s forces arranged in infantry squares survived eleven charges of French cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

    The problem with the Byzantines is that the Roman infantry had much earlier given up their armor and close-formation warfare in the late 4th Century. From that time forward, Roman infantry fought as mobs (they were mobs of barbarians) … just like everyone else, including their barbarian enemies. Whether armored or not, cavalry work very well against disorganized mobs that, after the Roman Legions, typified infantry in warfare until the end of the Middle Ages.

    A measure of the effectiveness of organized, close-ranked Roman Legions against mobs and calvary is perhaps best illustrated when 230,000 Britains attacked 10,000 Legionnaires during the Iceni rebellion in Britain in 58 AD. Tacitus reports that almost eighty thousand Britons were slaughtered compared to only four hundred Romans dead. The Britons had cavalry and chariots but, due to Suetonius’ clever placement of the Legions, the horses would not move on the Roman front (a wall of shields, spears, and swords) and the Britons could not get on the Roman flanks.

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    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    The barbarian invention of the saddle tree and solid stirrups allowed heavily armored cavalry armed with long lances to attack infantry with ease, even if they were formed in a protective formation. These inventions combined with compound bows were also effective against infantry, no matter how well disciplined. A Macedonian phalanx, armed with sixteen foot spears might have withstood a heavy cavalry charge. But the Roman cohort formation had made the phalanx obsolete.

    In fact the battle of Carrhae suggests that the Roman army had no good defense against barbarian cavalry with stirrups no matter how the cavalry was armed. I believe that the first effective infantry weapon against heavy cavalry was the Swiss halbred. This weapon gave infrantry "reach" over cavalry no matter how long deployable cavalry lances were. Again, my recollection is that the infantry square as Wellington knew it didn't appear on the scene until sometime not long before the Thirty Year's War. The pikes used in these early infantry squares were direct descendants of the halbred.

    , @Twinkie

    Calvary cannot operate against organized, close-ranked Roman Legions or other phalanxes of infantry armed with spears, pikes, or bayonets.
     
    This is much too simplistic. Yes, it is true that horses don't like to run into packed masses of men. But arrows do. :)

    First of all, for much of the history of human warfare, cavalry was a skirmishing force. It was designed to ride in front of the enemy, loose some projectiles (usually javelins, later arrows fired from excellent recurved composite bows), and retreat away from return fire or enemy charge. Rinse and repeat. Then when the enemy's morale broke and began to flee, chase and cut down.

    Once heavy calvalry came into being (often credited to Parthians or Bactrians or even Macedonians, and so forth, but the consensus is somewhere around modern Persia or the regions around the Black Sea), it then became possible for an ALL-cavalry army to do something more than engage in skirmishing. The skirmishing cavalry (now with much more effective recurved composite bows) would harry, disrupt, and demoralize an infantry force, and when sufficiently weakened, the heavy cavalry could charge into the now disorganized enemy and rout him. This was even more effective if the said charge was conducted into the flanks or the rear. Note that cavalry had much greater mobility and maneuverability - it could move and hit infantry in the flanks or the rear much more easily than the other way around.

    Added to that, an all-cavalry force had much greater operational and strategic mobility - it could now intercept its enemy and/or choose where the fight took place. If its commander found the location unsuitable, it could retreat faster than the infantry force could give chase, regroup, and pick another location for battle.

    A measure of the effectiveness of organized, close-ranked Roman Legions against mobs and calvary is perhaps best illustrated when 230,000 Britains attacked 10,000 Legionnaires during the Iceni rebellion in Britain in 58 AD.
     
    230,000 Brythonic warriors is a sheer fantasy/Roman propaganda. The number of warriors in the Iceni rebellion was probably fewer than the Roman legionaries. Furthermore, while the Britons had cavalry and chariots, they were extremely expensive and probably very few in number. In any case, Brythonic cavalry at the time was a light skirmishing force and chariots were useless except on wide, flat, level ground (the main role of chariots was to ferry leaders to the battle - it was a prestige jeep, if you will).

    why Wellington’s forces arranged in infantry squares survived eleven charges of French cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
     
    Infantry squares are dandy if they contain cavalry for counter-charge and lots of firearms for launching volleys into the charging horses. Alas, the cost is zero mobility and vulnerability to missile fire (concentration of men = easy targets).

    See Carrhae: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carrhae

    After being informed of the presence of the Parthian army, Crassus' army panicked. His general Cassius recommended that the army be deployed in the traditional Roman fashion, with infantry forming the center and cavalry on the wings. At first Crassus agreed, but he soon changed his mind and redeployed his men into a hollow square, each side formed by twelve cohorts.[19] This formation would protect his forces from being outflanked, but at the cost of mobility. The Roman forces advanced and came to a stream. Crassus' generals advised him to make camp, and attack the next morning in order to give his men a chance to rest. Publius, however, was eager to fight and managed to convince Crassus to confront the Parthians immediately.[20]

    The Parthians went to great lengths to intimidate the Romans. First they beat a great number of hollow drums and the Roman troops were unsettled by the loud and cacophonous noise. Surena then ordered his cataphracts to cover their armor in cloths and advance. When they were within sight of the Romans, they simultaneously dropped the cloths, revealing their shining armor. The sight was designed to intimidate the Romans, but Surena was impressed by the lack of effect it had.[21] Though he had originally planned to shatter the Roman lines with a charge by his cataphracts, he judged that this would not be enough to break them at this point. Thus, he sent his horse archers to surround the Roman square. Crassus sent his skirmishers to drive the horse archers off, but they were driven back by the latter's arrows. The horse archers then engaged the legionaries. The legionaries were protected by their large shields (scuta) and armor (reenactment with composite bows do not answer the question whether arrows can penetrate mail), but these could not cover the entire body. Some historians describe the arrows partially penetrating the Roman shields, and nailing the shields to the limbs of the Roman infantry. Other historians state that the majority of wounds inflicted were nonfatal hits to exposed limbs.[22] The Romans repeatedly advanced towards the Parthians to attempt to engage in close-quarters fighting, but the horse archers were always able to retreat safely, loosing Parthian shots as they withdrew. The legionaries then formed the testudo formation, in which they locked their shields together to present a nearly impenetrable front to missiles.[23] However, this formation severely restricted their ability in melee combat. The Parthian cataphracts exploited this weakness and repeatedly charged the Roman line, causing panic and inflicting heavy casualties.[24] When the Romans tried to loosen up their formation in order to repel the cataphracts, the latter rapidly retreated and the horse archers resumed shooting at the now more exposed legionnaires.[23]

    Crassus now hoped that his legionaries could hold out until the Parthians ran out of arrows.[25] However, Surena used thousands of camels to resupply his horse archers. Upon realizing this, Crassus dispatched his son Publius with 1,300 Gallic cavalry, 500 archers and eight cohorts of legionnaires to drive off the horse archers. The horse archers feigned retreat, drawing off Publius' force who suffered heavy casualties from arrow fire. Once Publius and his men were sufficiently separated from the rest of the army, the Parthian cataphracts confronted them while the horse archers cut off their retreat. In the ensuing combat the Gauls fought bravely, however their inferiority in weapons and armor was evident and they eventually retreated to a hill, where Publius committed suicide while the rest of his men were slaughtered.[26] Crassus, unaware of his son's fate but realizing Publius was in danger, ordered a general advance. He was confronted with the sight of his son's head on a spear. The Parthian horse archers began to surround the Roman infantry, shooting at them from all directions, while the cataphracts mounted a series of charges that disorganized the Romans. The Parthian onslaught did not cease until nightfall. Crassus, deeply shaken by his son's death, ordered a retreat to the nearby town of Carrhae, leaving behind thousands of wounded, who were captured by the Parthians.[27]

    The next day, Surena sent a message to the Romans, offering to negotiate with Crassus. Surena proposed a truce, allowing the Roman army to return to Syria safely in exchange for Rome giving up all territory east of the Euphrates. Surena either sent an embassy to the Romans by the hills or went himself stating he wanted a peace conference to evacuate.[28][29] Crassus was reluctant to meet with the Parthians, but his troops threatened to mutiny if he did not.[30] At the meeting, a Parthian pulled at Crassus' reins, sparking violence. Crassus and his generals were killed. After his death, the Parthians allegedly poured molten gold down his throat, in a symbolic gesture mocking Crassus' renowned greed.[31] The remaining Romans at Carrhae attempted to flee, but most were captured or killed. Roman casualties amounted to about 20,000 killed and 10,000 captured[32] making the battle one of the costliest defeats in Roman history. Parthian casualties were minimal.
     
  157. Boomstick says:
    @Zoodles
    Keep in mind that early Iron weapons werent superior to bronze.In fact the early high-tin hand hammered bronze used in this time period is quite a bit harder than early iron. The only reason iron became common was its cheapness and availability. Its not until people figured out how to turn Iron into steel that iron weapons became the better choice.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4qLhq5V2-o

    Skallagrim is a European martial arts guy.

    Iron seems to have won out because it’s cheaper and requires less of a trading network. It’s easier to outfit a large army. Everybody gets metallic weapons instead of just an elite, and there are more warriors on the battlefield.

    The fall of so many walled cities suggests to me that the invaders had something that helped them in siege warfare.

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  158. dearieme says:
    @Lee Wang
    This is answered in one of the most brilliant books ever written:
    'The End of the Bronze Age' by Robert Drews[1].

    Contents:
    'Why could Odysseus string the bow when the suitors could not', the origin of the Illiad and the destruction of Troy, The Karnak inscription and the Sea peoples, the Hittite 3-man chariot, composite recurve bows, etc etc.

    [1] https://www.amazon.com/End-Bronze-Age-Robert-Drews/dp/0691025916

    Drews must be kidding: “From the ashes arose the city-states of Greece and the tribal confederacy of Israel, communities that depended on massed formations of infantrymen. ”

    How the devil can a few bandits and shepherds in the Palestine hills produce masses of infantrymen?

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Fairly easily. Pretty near everybody in the Iron Age had massed formations of infantrymen. What did you expect, cavalry?

    Heck, even the Plataeans fought with massed formations of infantrymen.
  159. Barnard says:
    @Triumph104
    OT:

    http://nypost.com/2017/02/21/retired-wnba-star-i-was-tormented-for-not-being-gay/

    Average salary is $72,000 a year, which I would guess is more than most players would make outside of basketball. Many also play in other countries during the WNBA’s offseason. A story like that does make you wonder if more players don’t get driven from the league because of it’s culture. It’s not like more than a few are getting rich playing the WNBA.

    https://www.reference.com/sports-active-lifestyle/much-money-wnba-players-make-99a442a0580783ac

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    An NBA all-star on Philadelphia, Bob Arizin, retired at about age 30 around 1960 to become an IBM salesman because he was tired of Wilt Chamberlain hogging the ball. I would imagine WNBA players often make similar decisions.

    It actually seems pretty healthy and sane: play another year in the WNBA or apply to dental school?

    , @william munny
    It does take a few years for a gym teacher or fedex driver to earn that much.
  160. biz says:
    @Expletive Deleted

    To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.
     
    I guess that makes the Scots antifragile in that respect. UK gov. is forever whining at them to change their (admittedly grotesque and primitive) dietary habits, eat up their "5-a-day"salads and fruit like good barbarians, and lay off the Buckfast and deep-fried MarsBars, because it costs the NHS money. They die a decade or more earlier than Home Counties (former Imperial Core territory) English. And they don't care, apparently.
    Lettuce could vanish along with every vegetable on the planet (apart from rutabaga/turnips, each January) and I doubt it would even be noticed in Glasgow. On the other hand, a lard and malting barley shortage would probably finish them off for good.

    Wouldn’t dying a decade earlier mean that they would cost the NHS less?

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    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    I don't think so, as they go "on the sick" at an age when the rest of us are just getting our feet under the table at work. There's the smoking and drinking on top of the artery diseases too. Old southern English people just retire, get doddery, and wander about in Burberry gear walking the dog or golfing till they drop of a stroke age 80+, or more likely go senile, and dead of pneumonia within say 3 years.
  161. dearieme says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    The Phillistines wrote (and I assume spoke) an Indo-European language. There is an ongoing debate about their precise origins and how they wound up where they did. Despite the propaganda in the OT, any reader of the Bible has to be aware that relations between the Phillistine city states and their Hebrew neighbors were complex and not always hostile, e.g., the many inter-marriages and other contacts in Judges and the years David's band fought for the Phillistines as layed out in Samuel.

    But why treat the OT as history? The archaeology strongly suggests that it isn’t.

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    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    If not treated with religious deference, the OT isn't any worse a historical source than Livy or even some parts of Tacitus. There is some limited archaeological confirmation of OT narratives, e.g., an inscription in a tunnel dug under Jerusalem to the Siloam spring, references to several Omride kings in diplomatic correspondence. Underneath all the propaganda, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and even Judges provide some information about Cananite life and intrigues among the various tribal leaders and paramount leaders that intrigued in the Levant from 1000 BC to say 400 BC. The closer to the present the better the evidence.
  162. D. K. says:
    @Anon
    Bronze Age collapse sea people

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjuZjHpxUWQ&t=358s

    The Sea Peoples, as the video points out, carried their families along with them. They were not expanding out of the European Mediterranean; they were migrating southeast, in waves! Why? Presumably because they had grown desperate in Europe. Why? I strongly suspect that it was for the same reason that multiple high civilizations– despite their wealth, sophistication and “home-court advantage”– fell to waves of relative barbarians, who had to travel to their targets in ships, unable to live off of the land as, say, Alexander’s armies later would.

    What might have caused such widespread civilizational debility as to allow the Sea Peoples such success, until Egypt finally was able to stop the barbarians’ further encroachment of the Southeast Mediterranean? Again, I suspect that it was climate change, due to extreme volcanic activity [supra]. A similar theory has been posited for the submergence of Europe into its post-Roman Dark Ages, and the subsequent expansion of Islam out of the Arabian Peninsula, and deep into Europe itself. Then, in the winter of 1304 (if I am recalling correctly), the Little Ice Age was first noted in Europe:

    http://www.history.com/news/little-ice-age-big-consequences

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  163. Romanian says: • Website
    @Anon
    Sea Peoples are nothing compared to dangers we face today.

    Sea Peoples were invasive and destructive, but they had the genetic potential to build civilization.

    It's like Germanic, Celts, and Turks could be invasive and destroy stuff all over... but they also could build upon the destruction and invasion. Germanic folks later built civilization. So did the Turkics. And Celtics.

    In contrast, black Africans have not proven civilizational capability.

    Europeans Europeanize wherever they go. Asians Asianize. Arabs Arabize. Hindus hinduize.
    Some build civilizations better than others. White Europeans have demonstrated best ability to build and make progress.
    Africans have proven they have the least ability to build stuff. Africanization is mostly destructive.

    So, African takeover of Europe will be totally different from Germanic Barbarian conquests or even Turkic or Moorish invasions.
    It will spell the end of civilization, a permanent Detroitization of the world. A Europe that is Africanized is finished forever. It will not be a dark age followed by new beginning. It will be permanent dark age... like most of black Africa.

    In the end, it's not about 'liberal democracy' or some such. Sure, liberal democracy is nice, but what really makes a system work is a combination of race/genes, culture, values, work ethic, manners, habits, and attitudes.

    Consider some of the Bio-Cultural Ruling Systems:

    Anglocratic
    Germanocratic(includes Scandinavia and is close to Anglocracy)
    Judeocratic
    Slavocratic
    Latinocratic
    Sinocratic(of which even Japan may be a part)
    Arabocratic
    Indocratic(hindu stuff)
    Afrocratic

    I would argue that Anglocracy without democracy will work better than Afrocracy with democracy. Anglocracy is a system of rule by sober, serious, intelligent, and well-mannered peoples(before UK allowed the yobs to run wild). Consider Hong Kong. Under most of British rule, it was no democracy.
    It was Anglocratic in terms of elite rule. And most of society was Sinocratic, managed by Chinese as middlemen and workers. And it worked. How did it work without 'liberal democracy'? Cuz Anglocracy was clean and efficient, and Sinocracy was sober and hardworking. Singapore was also the result of fusion of Anglocracy and Sinocracy.
    And even today, Singapore is not a liberal democracy. But things run well there cuz Sinocracy, though not very innovative, is serious and intelligent.

    Now, I'm not knocking liberal democracy. But the REAL reason why one system works and another doesn't has MORE to do with combo of genes, values, work ethic, manners, and attitudes.
    In the 19th century, France was sometimes 'democratic' whereas Germany was ruled by imperial system. And yet, Germans surged ahead, even surpassing UK in industry and many academic/scientific fields. How was that possible when Germany didn't have liberal democracy? Cuz its Germanocratic virtues were harder version of Anglocracy.

    Israel proves that Judeocracy works very well too.

    Indocracy is a mixed bag cuz of caste legacy and genetic diversity of India. It works in some ways, in other ways it's a mess.

    But Afrocracy? You can instruct Africans in all the liberal democratic theories around the world. It won't do much good. African genetics leads to Africanization of society. And African manners, temperament, and etc lead to social chaos, though I don't mind when they talk about how homos 'eat da poo poo'.

    Now, compare Anglocracy vs Latinocracy.

    Some will say US made more progress cuz of liberal democracy whereas Latin America came later to democracy. But really?
    Is democracy really such a charm? But Mexico in late 19th century was democratic whereas Germany wasn't. Yet, Germany did so much more. And Japan, though undemocratic, achieved more than Mexico from late 19th century to WWII era.

    And compare US vs Argentina. The latter had so much potential and had democracy, but why did it lag? Latins ruled with their attitudes and styles. It will build and maintain civilization, but not a very efficient and sober one.

    I would argue that even if the Brits had won the war and American Independence has been crushed, the US under Anglocratic rule(of British) would have achieved nearly just as much.

    Slavocracy? Russia existed for much much longer than the US. And it had many more people than the US in the 19th century. But in short time, Anglos swept across the continent and created a great powerful nation. In contrast, Russians were still digging dirt on the same plot like they'd been for many centuries. Russians then went for communist revolution. It too failed. Why? Cuz Anglocracy has a great combo of order and individuality. It empowers each person as a free agent. But it also instills order and unity and common purpose. In contrast, Slavocratic model was to treat people like cattle, either as serfs or comrades. So, the sense of initiative and responsibility didn't develop in the Russian heart and mind.
    But one good thing about Slavocratic heaviness is greater sense of roots and belonging. In contrast, the Mercurean mobility of Anglocracy may have led to too much atomization and deracination in the end. Of course, Anglocrats of the past understood this danger. This is why they balanced out their globo-mobility with British patriotism, loyalty to Queen, Anglican Church, and race-ism. As Anglocrats were high-spiritedly moving all around the world, there was the danger of becoming one with the natives. So, race-ism was necessary to maintain British unity and uniqueness. And it was good for the natives too since white race-ism meant white men were discouraged from sexually exploiting the native womenfolks. In contrast, the Latinocrats led to much more sexual abuse of local womenfolk in other lands. Hopkins has impressive race-ist attitude in THE BOUNTY. Good man.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVEiScxUQyY

    Judeocracy is very formidable but complicated. Jews have so long operated by latching onto OTHER peoples that one wonders how it would do on its own. Israel is such an experiment, but even it is heavily dependent on the support of great powers. So, the jury is still out on the true power of Judeocracy as an independent ruling system.

    Slavocratic model:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCOzqP9Dt9E

    I like your attempt to reason with the various systems. Where would you place the Eastern Europeans? As their own group, or divided by their different cultures?

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  164. Chriscom says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    I recommend reading the book in question. The author very specifically does not suggest that any one cause was responsible for the international collapse of civilization that took place around and just after 1200 BC. In particular he makes a powerful case that it's impossible to establish a causal link between the appearance of the "Sea Peoples" and the ultimate collapse. He does believe that climate change and its adverse impact on agriculture played a role but that climate change was not alone sufficient to explain the collapse and was only one of many factors.

    The author's chief point is that the late Bronze age civilization of the eastern Mediterranean, the Levant, Egypt, and Anatolia bore some striking resemblances to our current globalist civilization. It was highly advanced and sophisticated. The nation states that it comprised were linked by a complex of political and mercantile ties. The elites shared common interests that were maintained via a sophisticated diplomatic system. To its elites and even its most humble inhabitants the system appeared to be an eternal and indestructible marvel.

    Yet within fifty years the system was reduced to barbaric chaos. Governments were overthrown by internal rebellions and invasions. Nation states and empires collapsed into feudal fiefdoms. Cities were reduced to uninhabited rubble. Technologies were lost, infrastructure disintegrated, literacy disappeared and whole systems of writing became indecipherable to this day. Art and architecture except of the most primitive nature ceased to exist.

    Anyone reading the book is left with a sense that a similar concatenation of disasters could reduce our current civilization in much the same way. I think one of the the author's primary intentions was to make his readers aware of this possibility.

    That is very well put and covers the kind of discussion that made me pick it up in the first place. It just bogs down at some point; I often kept asking myself how could anyone make something this amazing so boring. Reminds me a little of the 1491 by Charles C. Mann, about the pre-Columbian Americas. It was mostly fascinating but he kept going on and on and on and on about maize. It’s super duper important, I get it, in all its wondrous implications, but enough already about damn maize.

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  165. @Autochthon
    Remember that barbarians were not primarily defined by their being backward, but rather their being other. The term itself comes of ancient Greek onomatopoeia: these were people who (unlike those from other Greek city-states) did not speak Greek, and so when they did speak all a Greek heard was "bar bar bar." I had a friend who hated it when I spoke Spanish because he didn't understand it, so whenever I spoke Spanish he would derisively say "Nachos del grande!" The idea of barbarians has a similar origin in annoyance and disdain by the autochthonous Greeks. With that stuff in mind, the idea of being overrun by barbarians is as relevant to the current U.S.A. (and the West generally) as it was to the Romans or the empires overrun by the Sea People.

    My parents speak Spanish, but they say that when I was young and they tried to teach me, I would yell, “STOP SPEAKING SPANISH!”

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  166. whorefinder says: • Website

    The Milo-Alex Jones coordinate double attack in the last 48 hours is smelling very strongly of a Deep State attack on the news organs of dissent.

    Has Unz.com come under attack as well?

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  167. @Barnard
    Average salary is $72,000 a year, which I would guess is more than most players would make outside of basketball. Many also play in other countries during the WNBA's offseason. A story like that does make you wonder if more players don't get driven from the league because of it's culture. It's not like more than a few are getting rich playing the WNBA.


    https://www.reference.com/sports-active-lifestyle/much-money-wnba-players-make-99a442a0580783ac

    An NBA all-star on Philadelphia, Bob Arizin, retired at about age 30 around 1960 to become an IBM salesman because he was tired of Wilt Chamberlain hogging the ball. I would imagine WNBA players often make similar decisions.

    It actually seems pretty healthy and sane: play another year in the WNBA or apply to dental school?

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  168. @Cortes
    Seems like a sensible answer.

    The Greek god of smiths, Hephaestus, was usually depicted as lame and if I recall correctly, Robert Graves's take on that was that Bronze Age smiths ran the risk of being hobbled to keep them near the metal source. The near ubiquity of sources of iron possibly made knowledge of smelting and related metalworking much more mobile skills with a great new and superior product. No need to be a member of the charmed circle of courtiers in an ossified Empire when you can set out unique selling points on the circuit of smaller, nimbler, ambitious petty kinglets who know a good thing when they see it...

    “The Greek god of smiths, Hephaestus, was usually depicted as lame and if I recall correctly, Robert Graves’s take on that was…”

    Being lame was one of the five signs of royalty according to Graves (from either ‘I, Claudius’ or ‘Claudius The God.’). Two others were being a redhead and having a Y-shaped blue vein on the forehead. I don’t recall the other two. Claudius, of course, was also lame.

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  169. @charles w abbott
    I glanced at Cline's book and superficially it was dull, so I chose to set it down and read something more interesting, Dr. Johnson style.

    The issue itself is fascinating. Despite the fact that I view myself as moderately well-educated, the general problem was one I couldn't articulate and was not fully aware of. There was a general collapse / disorder / retrogression round about 1177 BCE.

    The work that first got me intrigued was Ian Morris _Why the west rules--for now_ which has a more engaging (probably superficial) treatment of the Late Bronze Age Collapse.

    Camille Paglia once suggested we get a long piece of paper (roll of newsprint?) and start building a timeline covering ca. 500 BCE to 500 CE, working out the march of history in our heads, to make up for all the stuff that we should have learned in school but didn't.

    Apparently we need to go back further. And a lot of the written records are very scanty, so archeologists are the folks to read--or at least people who are not relying on written materials, which are awfully sparse.

    Camille Paglia once suggested we get a long piece of paper (roll of newsprint?) and start building a timeline covering ca. 500 BCE to 500 CE, working out the march of history in our heads, to make up for all the stuff that we should have learned in school but didn’t.

    If Paglia and others have their way, in the future people won’t even know what happened halfway between 500 BCE and 500 CE. Heck, we could probably quiz kids coming out of their AP world history exams and they wouldn’t know.

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  170. I’m throwing out another possibility, albeit a controversial one. Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein, and he wrote a number of books regarding the collapses of numerous ancient civilizations – attributing them to a massive cometary bombardment that swings through here every 3,600 years or so…

    http://velikovsky.org/en/work.html

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    "I’m throwing out another possibility, albeit a controversial one. Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein, and he wrote a number of books regarding the collapses of numerous ancient civilizations – attributing them to a massive cometary bombardment that swings through here every 3,600 years or so…"

    He also thought that the plent Venus is a comet, and that the earth once stopped rotating on its axis for a few hours.

    By the way, of what relevance is it to say that " Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein"? Is that supposed to lend him an aura of credibility that he otherwise wouldn't have? A lot of people fit that bill: Moe Fine was a contemporary of Einstein. So were Rudolph Hess, Gloria Swanson, Chico Marx, and L. Ron Hubbard. And I don't much care what they have to say about ancient history either.
  171. keypusher says:

    I haven’t read the book, and don’t plan to, because I assume if I get to the end I still won’t know why late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed. The evidence is lacking. (If I’m wrong about this, set me straight.)

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist. When I was a kid, a pop history book stated matter of factly that iron swords in the hands of northern invaders hacked through the soft bronze shields of the defenders. That was probably written after WWII, and before Vietnam; ascribing the results to superior military technology probably made perfect sense. Now it’s fashionable to blame climate change. In this thread, it’s unchecked migration of backward barbarians and a loss of will to survive in the advanced states.

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Unfortunately, the tendency of archaeologists and anyone else who speculates on the ancient past always involves a certain amount of inescapable projection. There's a very witty illustrated book called "Motel of the Mysteries" by David Macaulay that expores this in detail. It's also a basic theme in Wunderlich's "Secret of Crete" which takes Evans to task for his interpretation of Knossos.

    All one can do is be aware of one's biases and explore different methods of comparative events.
    , @Twinkie

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist.
     
    YES!

    I haven’t read the book, and don’t plan to, because I assume if I get to the end I still won’t know why late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed.
     
    If you are interested in this period of history or about the Sea Peoples at all, Cline's book is a good summary of the latest research and a survey of various theories.

    But, no, you won't find out why and how the Late Bronze Age collapsed (or whether they really did collapse), because the evidence is not there one way or another. What evidence does exists is often contradictory. But that's history of the ancient times for you. History is rather like weather in that regard - the further one departs from the present, the more speculative and faulty the projection (forward in the case of the weather; backward in the case of history). The gaps are then filled by all kinds of kooks and cranks, a few of who are occasionally correct, but most of who are fraudulent or deluded or even plain ignorant, but who nonetheless capture the imgination of the public all too often.
    , @Olorin
    key, the point isn't to "know why Bronze Age civilizations collapsed."

    The point is to be able to think with a broader base of historical fact about how prior complex, magnificent human societies worked.

    And to have more informed understanding--going forward--of why and how they failed.

    You're being ungenerous and inaccurate in saying

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist.
     

    Cline is in fact a relatively conservative scholar, making use of evidence in an extensively documented manner.

    And his primary observation is NOT about climate change. It is much more complex. As I note in my comment above, he riffs heavily off of Colin Renfrew***, whom I consider a most interesting observer of these ancient matters.

    We forget our ancestors at a heavy price.

    ***I highly recommend Renfrew's Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins.

  172. @Jon Halpenny
    I read one time a late Roman writer remarked that the Germans were fearsomely armed. Apparently, a Germanic warrior could cut a horse in half with his huge broadsword.

    Given the Germans tended to be larger than the Romans they may have had both a physical and technological advantage over the Romans.

    Indeed, the Roman writer Whiskeyius often wrote about how Roman women hate hate HATE Roman men in favor of athletic German barbarians.

    According to this writer, Roman troubles in Judea Province could also be laid at the feet of Roman women. The Judeans themselves were blameless.

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  173. @Jack Hanson
    No, its not. Its obvious he was talking about his own relationship in the podcast versus the smear by the media (and CTR trolls like yourself) that he was defending pedophilia.

    This is all part of a larger left wing media hit on Milo. 4Chan posted about this before it happened, and so far its been going down as anon said it would.

    Yes. I don’t agree entirely with Milo, but it’s very dishonest of the media to keep repeating that Milo “defended pedophilia,” when he explicitly differentiated pedophilia from what he described as acceptable.

    I must say, I’m surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people have abandoned him.

    It’s a shame, because it reframes the Berkeley riots. Pedophilia is one of those things that makes people dumb, so the situation is going to have conservatives thinking, “well… I guess those riots were right after all.”

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    • Replies: @utu
    "I must say, I’m surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people have abandoned him."

    It must have come from the top.
    , @MB
    Heads are exploding/LibProg overload.
    The homosexual troll has to go.
    But the Berserkeley blac bloc Brownshirts haven't read The Pink Swastika yet.

    Either way, Drumpf climate change haters did it.
    Or something like that.

    Kill the "Nazis" is the answer.
    That might mean folks like those who post here.

    It was time for the perp to take a walk, but that doesn't mean his opposition can discriminate or engage coherently and rationally with anybody who disagrees with their mental disease.
    , @Autochthon
    Let me be clear: I do not advocate carnal or romantic relations between adults and minors myself, but as has been said, the merest hint of the topic makes otherwise rational persons stark, raving mad. I've been busy with other things, but the one quotation I actually heard in the news was a completely accurate clinical differentiation between pedophilia and ephepophila (i.e hebephilia).

    I finally perused a transcript and, while I can appreciate vehement disagreement to his viewpoint, the stuff he says would not be out of place in a perfectly dignified seminar on criminal law or the philosophy of jurisprudence: questions of where to draw bright lines in a difficult effort to balance freedom and protection, etc.

    If he'd made all the same statements in the classic context of, say, whether eighteen-year-olds who can vote and be drafted shouldn't also be allowed to have a glass of wine, the hysteria would not have ensued.

    The most controversial statement is in response to the guy asking whether Yiannopoulos "advocat[es] cross generational relationships" to which he responds in the affirmative, but even then context suggests he means ages of consent for teenagers are thorny; only moments before he clearly takes the correct position that they are arbitrary but necessary (and necessarily arbitrary).

    I actually don't read anything which should be cause for unqualified defenestration. It's Mr. Derbyshire's "The Talk" all over again, with honesty regarding disturbing realities about sex (rather than race) being the catalyst for hysteria.

    Doubtless aspersions shall now be heaped upon me in turn.
  174. keypusher says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    I recommend reading the book in question. The author very specifically does not suggest that any one cause was responsible for the international collapse of civilization that took place around and just after 1200 BC. In particular he makes a powerful case that it's impossible to establish a causal link between the appearance of the "Sea Peoples" and the ultimate collapse. He does believe that climate change and its adverse impact on agriculture played a role but that climate change was not alone sufficient to explain the collapse and was only one of many factors.

    The author's chief point is that the late Bronze age civilization of the eastern Mediterranean, the Levant, Egypt, and Anatolia bore some striking resemblances to our current globalist civilization. It was highly advanced and sophisticated. The nation states that it comprised were linked by a complex of political and mercantile ties. The elites shared common interests that were maintained via a sophisticated diplomatic system. To its elites and even its most humble inhabitants the system appeared to be an eternal and indestructible marvel.

    Yet within fifty years the system was reduced to barbaric chaos. Governments were overthrown by internal rebellions and invasions. Nation states and empires collapsed into feudal fiefdoms. Cities were reduced to uninhabited rubble. Technologies were lost, infrastructure disintegrated, literacy disappeared and whole systems of writing became indecipherable to this day. Art and architecture except of the most primitive nature ceased to exist.

    Anyone reading the book is left with a sense that a similar concatenation of disasters could reduce our current civilization in much the same way. I think one of the the author's primary intentions was to make his readers aware of this possibility.

    Anyone reading the book is left with a sense that a similar concatenation of disasters could reduce our current civilization in much the same way. I think one of the the author’s primary intentions was to make his readers aware of this possibility.

    Same with a million books about the fall of the Roman Empire, none of them worth a single dead tree. I d0n’t think 1177 BC has anything to teach us. At some point in the last few hundred years, human civilization stopped going around in circles and started heading somewhere. Where, I don’t know, but looking backward is not going to help me figure it out.

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  175. Achilles says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    Steve often reads my mind through my tinfoil hat. (Actually it's Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil.)

    I was just remembering last night that I read somewhere (here on Unz?) that maybe the ancient Europeans like the Greeks and even perhaps the Romans were more Northern European than we think today. What I mean is, maybe there were waves of people who came up from the south into Europe and mixed with and displaced the more northern types.

    In other words, perhaps the folks you meet in Greece and Rome today aren't really like the ancients who built their great old civilizations.

    If this sounds like the ramblings of a poorly educated man lazily writing a comment on a sunny day, it is.

    Anyway, not having any Latin in me that I'm aware of, I am suspicious of the way our Roman-dominated history depicts the Germanic peoples, people like "Attila the Hun," for example, as "barbarians." There are great peoples all over Europe who trace their ancestry to those "barbarians." Today those people are kicking the economic crap out of the Latins and Mediterranians who claim the great ancient Rome and Greece as their own.

    Bottom line: Maybe the threat that is washing up on European shores now is just like previous waves down through history.

    (In a similar vein, "Global Warming" is something that has happened repeatedly in Earth's long history. The current trend is just part of the latest cycle. Of THIS I am certain. It is natural, and what we must do is prepare for it, NOT blame ourselves and destroy our way of life.)

    maybe the ancient Europeans like the Greeks and even perhaps the Romans were more Northern European than we think today.

    Much civilizational advance was made around the shores of the Black Sea, from the Caucasus up to the Pontic Steppe, and over to the Danube basin and into the Balkans.

    The Dispilio tablet found in a lake in the Balkan peninsula has been dated to ca 5260 B.C. and has what appears to be written symbols on it, two millennia before Sumerian proto-writing. There were towns of thousands of people in the Danube valley millennia before the earliest urban settlements of Sumer. But Mesopotamia became known in the popular imagination as the cradle of civilization because the archaeological remains of mud brick endured in an arid climate.

    Mycenaean culture can be traced back to the north shore of the Black Sea. Troy was probably founded by peoples from the shore of the Black Sea. The Hittites probably came from the north.

    Troy was well situated to control the critical passage to the Black Sea because entering the Black Sea from the south through the strait of Marmara was difficult due to currents, and ships generally sailed close to the Trojan shoreline in order to make it through the strait.

    If we had the whole story, I’d guess quite a bit of the beginnings of Northern Mediterranean civilization had its origin in peoples coming out of the Black Sea region.

    The Black Sea region has an argument to make as the matrix of civilization.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Agreed. From H.G. Wells' A Short History of the World (an excellent piece, by the way, for concisely understanding things in the vein of Paglia's hypothetical timeline on a roll of paper):

    Moving over large stretches of country the nomad took a wider view of life. He touched on the confines of this settled land and that. He was used to the sight of strange faces. He had to scheme and treat for pasture with competing tribes. He knew more of minerals than the folk upon the plough lands because he went over mountain passes and into rocky places. He may have been a better metallurgist. Possibly bronze and much more probably iron smelting were nomadic discoveries. Some of the earliest implements of iron reduced from its ores have been found in Central Europe far away from the early civilizations….

    Iron had also come now into civilization out of the north; the Hittites, the precursors of the Armenians, had it first and communicated its use to the Assyrians....

    [Af]ter about 1200 B.C. and perhaps earlier, a new set of names would come into the map of the ancient world from the north-east and from the north-west. These would be the names of certain barbaric tribes, armed with iron weapons and using horse-chariots, who were becoming a great affliction to the Ægean and Semitic civilizations on the northern borders. They all spoke variants of what once must have been the same language, Aryan.

    The Aryans raised crops of wheat, ploughing with oxen, but they did not settle down by their crops; they would reap and move on. They had bronze, and somewhen about 1500 B.C. they acquired iron. They may have been the discoverers of iron smelting. And somewhen vaguely about that time they also got the horse—which to begin with they used only for draught purposes. Their social life did not centre upon a temple like that of the more settled people round the Mediterranean, and their chief men were leaders rather than priests. They had an aristocratic social order rather than a divine and regal order; from a very early stage they distinguished certain families as leaderly and noble.
     
  176. keypusher says:
    @Patrick B
    "The real question is why some civilizations endure so much longer than others, like Egypt and China. The answer is usually that the destabilizing element of egotistic expansion is much reduced."

    Are you seriously this naive? Have you ever hung out with a group of Chinese businessmen - I can't him of people more egotistical or expansionist.

    Egypt and China endured because they were surrounded by deserts and not-very-numerous barbarians. They didn’t expand (actually the Chinese did push west, slowly) because every surrounding place was worse than what they already had.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    We were fighting northern barbarians for the better part of our history.
  177. @Buzz Mohawk
    Steve often reads my mind through my tinfoil hat. (Actually it's Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil.)

    I was just remembering last night that I read somewhere (here on Unz?) that maybe the ancient Europeans like the Greeks and even perhaps the Romans were more Northern European than we think today. What I mean is, maybe there were waves of people who came up from the south into Europe and mixed with and displaced the more northern types.

    In other words, perhaps the folks you meet in Greece and Rome today aren't really like the ancients who built their great old civilizations.

    If this sounds like the ramblings of a poorly educated man lazily writing a comment on a sunny day, it is.

    Anyway, not having any Latin in me that I'm aware of, I am suspicious of the way our Roman-dominated history depicts the Germanic peoples, people like "Attila the Hun," for example, as "barbarians." There are great peoples all over Europe who trace their ancestry to those "barbarians." Today those people are kicking the economic crap out of the Latins and Mediterranians who claim the great ancient Rome and Greece as their own.

    Bottom line: Maybe the threat that is washing up on European shores now is just like previous waves down through history.

    (In a similar vein, "Global Warming" is something that has happened repeatedly in Earth's long history. The current trend is just part of the latest cycle. Of THIS I am certain. It is natural, and what we must do is prepare for it, NOT blame ourselves and destroy our way of life.)

    Very likely that the ancients were less “Mediterranean” looking than their modern posterity is. But the simplest explanation is that that’s post-Islamic. Remember that Sicily and parts of southern Italy were ruled by Arabs for a couple hundred years.

    If invading Sea Peoples repopulated parts of the eastern Mediterranean after the collapse, genome research would show the effect. Could be, but I don’t remember hearing about it. Note that Greece was already Greek-speaking and stayed that way. Egypt remained Egyptian-speaking.

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  178. utu says:
    @Chrisnonymous
    Yes. I don't agree entirely with Milo, but it's very dishonest of the media to keep repeating that Milo "defended pedophilia," when he explicitly differentiated pedophilia from what he described as acceptable.

    I must say, I'm surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people have abandoned him.

    It's a shame, because it reframes the Berkeley riots. Pedophilia is one of those things that makes people dumb, so the situation is going to have conservatives thinking, "well... I guess those riots were right after all."

    “I must say, I’m surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people have abandoned him.”

    It must have come from the top.

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  179. @keypusher
    Egypt and China endured because they were surrounded by deserts and not-very-numerous barbarians. They didn't expand (actually the Chinese did push west, slowly) because every surrounding place was worse than what they already had.

    We were fighting northern barbarians for the better part of our history.

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    • Replies: @keypusher
    Indeed. But (correct me if I am wrong) the barbarians wanted what the Chinese had. The Chinese did not want what the barbarians had.
    , @Cortes
    Nevertheless there were areas in the west where contacts were made:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_mummies

    My old granny, from the westernmost part of Ireland, always struck me as a bit Oriental in appearance, though the "epicanthic folds" maybe just were wrinkles...
  180. SPMoore8 says:
    @Anonymous
    There are two podcasts, the Joe Rogan show and some other random one, in which he clearly does defend pedophilia. There's no editing involved. You can listen to the podcasts straight through and come away with the same impression. At best you could say that he doesn't advocate for it, although even that is debatable since he does promote it as a good thing for young homosexuals in the podcasts.

    These podcasts were posted months ago. Pretty much all of the alt-right, except for homosexuals and trolls trying to associate the alt-right with homosexuality and pedophilia, agrees that he defends pedophilia in the podcasts.

    There’s a difference between finding a 16 year old attractive and finding a 6 year old attractive. That’s why there are classes of pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. Milo, as a homosexual, is clearly thinking about the last of those classes, that is, young males who are under the age of consent. I think it’s rather gross just as I find homosexuality rather distasteful but I can’t deny that a number of my female ancestors were married to men much older than they were by the time they turned 16.

    I can certainly understand that conservatives — who have a very tenuous relationship with gays to begin with — are going to find these revelations odious but anyone who has followed any gay writers knows about this syndrome, it was after the nature of the relationship of Socrates and Alcibiades.

    Having said all that, calling this “pedophilia” is a bit of a stretch, sort of like calling Traci Lords porn movies “child pornography”, and yet, by law, they are, and, it is.

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    • Replies: @Bill P

    Having said all that, calling this “pedophilia” is a bit of a stretch, sort of like calling Traci Lords porn movies “child pornography”, and yet, by law, they are, and, it is.
     
    The proper term is "pederasty." For some reason, this word has all but vanished from the contemporary lexicon. Hmmm... I wonder why?

    The truth is that pederasty is the norm in the so-called "homosexual community." Milo shouldn't be blamed for being honest about this. In a world of lies, he actually spoke the truth. Doesn't mean pederasty is socially beneficial, but it's something people should know about. Instead, the practice is covered up by its practitioners. Such a common thing today; that reality exposed is immediately obscured by a fusillade of lies.
  181. keypusher says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    We were fighting northern barbarians for the better part of our history.

    Indeed. But (correct me if I am wrong) the barbarians wanted what the Chinese had. The Chinese did not want what the barbarians had.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    We had basically reached the limits of size for a centralized government, correct, given the technology of the day. There was no real reason to try to get more tundra or semi-tundra lands. In a more decentralized Tang Dynasty, efforts were made to conquer Vietnam or go toward the south, a much more meaningful and realistic goal.
  182. Cortes says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    We were fighting northern barbarians for the better part of our history.

    Nevertheless there were areas in the west where contacts were made:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarim_mummies

    My old granny, from the westernmost part of Ireland, always struck me as a bit Oriental in appearance, though the “epicanthic folds” maybe just were wrinkles…

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  183. cipher says:
    @Mr. Anon

    But what if it were technological change itself that was the impetus in the transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age? It wouldn’t be the first time that barbarians with better weapons overran more sophisticated civilizations.
     
    I don't think that the barbarians who overran the western Roman Empire had better weapons than the Romans. They had pretty much the same weapons. In fact, much of the military of the late western Roman Empire was, by that time, largely barbarian, and had barbarian generalship (mostly german of one tribe or another). By the fifth century, the barbarians mostly had a more mono-ethnic (though not entirely mon0-ethnic) make-up than did the empire they supplanted. I believe the same could be said of the Egyptian dynasty that was conquered by the Hittites.

    Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.

    “Perhaps the older civilizations are simply overrun when they become old, tired, sclerotic, unsure of themselves, self-hating, and lose their sense of themselves as a people.”

    A very good example of how that process played-out in the modern era can be found here:

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  184. Boomstick says:
    @Opinionator
    I just don't see the Sea People having the numbers to accomplish that at such a scale.

    Another thing that should raise a doubt is what did the invaders/conquerors do immediately after the conquest?

    Did they stick around? If so, is there archaeological evidence of a new infrastructure on top of the old.

    Did they leave? If so, why didn't the indigenous people return, rebuild, and fortify?

    1200 BC is around the same time as a possible “Dorian invasion” of the Mycenaean Greeks by what is thought to be Macedonians. All the major palaces were burned and the area depopulated, but the newcomers (if any) didn’t seem to leave behind a culture for another century or two. When the archeological record picks up again languages and culture have changed to Dorian.

    Maybe our hypothetical invaders were pastoral and illiterate, and didn’t leave much in the way of artifacts behind after they slotted the locals. But this requires the invaders to be really good at demolishing walled, organized cities while not having a very advanced civilization themselves.

    Disease? Maybe, but one would expect the victims to mention something, seeing as how they mentioned the Sea People hooligans. It all seems very strange that the Hittite empire collapsed, the Greeks collapsed, the Near East was burned, and the Egyptians hard pressed all within about 50 years of each other. Multiple empires, multiple city-states, of multiple ethnicities all destroyed in the space of a few decades. The invaders are mentioned prominently, but disease isn’t. Famine? OK, but there can be multiple causes of that, including marauding hooligans burning crops and stopping trade.

    Maybe there was an ancient Alexander, or a few “Odysseus, sacker of cities” types that had a following, but whose names are lost to history.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    Rome was invaded a couple of times during its ascendency - by the Gauls, and by the Carthaginians. Perhaps the onset of dark ages requires a double or triple whammy: famine, then plagues, then invasions. And even then it might require that a people have lost its nerve.
  185. Anonym says:
    @Svigor
    Candid, that article is absolutely priceless. Total Sailer bait:

    “Immigration will come with some cost, and we will likely have a bit more crime — but that’s in a society with low crime rates and in a society that works really well, so in my opinion, it’s something we can live with,” he said. “I know everybody won’t agree with that. But immigration will not double the crime rate, make everybody go broke or turn Sweden into a living hell.”
     
    Three cheers for immigration!!!

    I can see the ad campaign now: "Vote for us; it'll cost you, and you'll have more crime, but you can live with it. We won't double the crime rate, make you go broke, or turn your life into a living Hell."

    Although terrorism is a concern for Sweden — an Iraqi-born Swede blew himself up in central Stockholm in 2010 — the authorities say they are equally worried about racist hate crimes, including attacks on migrants.
     
    My God, it gets better! "We're just as worried about the retaliatory 'hate crimes' against immigrants that inevitably accompany the influx of incompatible immigrants, so immigration has that going for it."

    I can see the ad campaign now: “Vote for us; it’ll cost you, and you’ll have more crime, but you can live with it. We won’t double the crime rate, make you go broke, or turn your life into a living Hell.”

    I hope that when society eventually breaks down and the Swedish inner viking is rediscovered and reforged, the mea culpas from the judges, politicians, media people, NGOs etc who were pushing the immigration and curbing discussion are ignored.

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  186. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Cortes
    Seems like a sensible answer.

    The Greek god of smiths, Hephaestus, was usually depicted as lame and if I recall correctly, Robert Graves's take on that was that Bronze Age smiths ran the risk of being hobbled to keep them near the metal source. The near ubiquity of sources of iron possibly made knowledge of smelting and related metalworking much more mobile skills with a great new and superior product. No need to be a member of the charmed circle of courtiers in an ossified Empire when you can set out unique selling points on the circuit of smaller, nimbler, ambitious petty kinglets who know a good thing when they see it...

    I really doubt any smith was made lame to keep them near a metal source, rather it was the profession of choice if you happened to be lame. Farmers have to walk miles behind a plow. Soldiers do a lot of marching. Merchants back in earlier times were a lot more mobile than we realize today, because your local village in the Bronze or Iron Ages often did not have a large enough customer base to provide a merchant with a living. Merchants were more like peddlers who wandered about with pack animals of goods. The fixed store with one location is a more modern invention, and it needs a bigger city to support it as an economic enterprise. Even as late as the Middle Ages, most merchants were migratory, taking their goods from fair to fair. See Fernand Braudel on the subject.

    Anyway, in a society that needed mobility to make a living, if you were born lame, becoming a smith who worked a fixed-in-place forge was one way to get ahead in life.

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    • Replies: @res

    Anyway, in a society that needed mobility to make a living, if you were born lame, becoming a smith who worked a fixed-in-place forge was one way to get ahead in life.
     
    Especially given that weakness in one limb often is accompanied by increased strength in the others.
  187. whorefinder says: • Website
    @Cortes
    Seems like a sensible answer.

    The Greek god of smiths, Hephaestus, was usually depicted as lame and if I recall correctly, Robert Graves's take on that was that Bronze Age smiths ran the risk of being hobbled to keep them near the metal source. The near ubiquity of sources of iron possibly made knowledge of smelting and related metalworking much more mobile skills with a great new and superior product. No need to be a member of the charmed circle of courtiers in an ossified Empire when you can set out unique selling points on the circuit of smaller, nimbler, ambitious petty kinglets who know a good thing when they see it...

    Wasn’t the lameness a euphemism of some sort? I got the sense that the Hephaestus/Vulcan “lameness” was a stand-in for impotence, hence why his wife Aphrodite/Venus cuckolds him with Ares/Mars their own marriage bed (which Hephaestus rigs to trap them in the act and shame them, only to have it backfire on him and have the other gods start laughing at him).

    I know that at least in Hebrew texts, “feet” was a stand-in for sexual organs, so perhaps the euphemism of legs/feet for genitals was an idea carried over into other near east cultures?

    It’s also interesting that Hephaestus/Vulcan is the only “practical” god among the main Olympian pantheon. All the other big gods have generalized powers that are a bit more sprawling/vague (e.g. Poseidon controls all the oceans, Hades all the dead, Athena all the wisdom) while Hephaestus did the very specific, concrete task of forging individual metal objects in a hearth. About the only other one who had a concrete task I can think of was Apollo, who did poetry, although that’s not as concrete as metal—and Apollo, too, was famous for his trouble with the ladies.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Mistranslation? Should have been "appendage" rather than "feet"?
    , @Desiderius
    Hephaestus is the prototypical nerdy beta.
  188. Bill P says:
    @SPMoore8
    There's a difference between finding a 16 year old attractive and finding a 6 year old attractive. That's why there are classes of pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. Milo, as a homosexual, is clearly thinking about the last of those classes, that is, young males who are under the age of consent. I think it's rather gross just as I find homosexuality rather distasteful but I can't deny that a number of my female ancestors were married to men much older than they were by the time they turned 16.

    I can certainly understand that conservatives -- who have a very tenuous relationship with gays to begin with -- are going to find these revelations odious but anyone who has followed any gay writers knows about this syndrome, it was after the nature of the relationship of Socrates and Alcibiades.

    Having said all that, calling this "pedophilia" is a bit of a stretch, sort of like calling Traci Lords porn movies "child pornography", and yet, by law, they are, and, it is.

    Having said all that, calling this “pedophilia” is a bit of a stretch, sort of like calling Traci Lords porn movies “child pornography”, and yet, by law, they are, and, it is.

    The proper term is “pederasty.” For some reason, this word has all but vanished from the contemporary lexicon. Hmmm… I wonder why?

    The truth is that pederasty is the norm in the so-called “homosexual community.” Milo shouldn’t be blamed for being honest about this. In a world of lies, he actually spoke the truth. Doesn’t mean pederasty is socially beneficial, but it’s something people should know about. Instead, the practice is covered up by its practitioners. Such a common thing today; that reality exposed is immediately obscured by a fusillade of lies.

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  189. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @dearieme
    Drews must be kidding: "From the ashes arose the city-states of Greece and the tribal confederacy of Israel, communities that depended on massed formations of infantrymen. "

    How the devil can a few bandits and shepherds in the Palestine hills produce masses of infantrymen?

    Fairly easily. Pretty near everybody in the Iron Age had massed formations of infantrymen. What did you expect, cavalry?

    Heck, even the Plataeans fought with massed formations of infantrymen.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Fairly easily. Pretty near everybody in the Iron Age had massed formations of infantrymen.
     
    No.
  190. @Diversity Heretic
    Where does the degeneracy end? Maybe we need our own "Sea Peoples" invasion to let dignity be restored to the people.

    Do not summon the Demon. Please, do not summon the Demon.

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  191. @dearieme
    "The taking of Canaan occurred": there's a school of thought that says it never occurred. The Hebrews were just one bunch of Canaanites who distinguished themselves from the others by adoption of a cult involving food taboos, a foundation mythology, etc. Apparently the archaeology supports that view: no captivity, no exodus, just a bunch of shepherds and bandits in the hills making themselves into a people.

    Really? Archaeology? We have not dug it up yet so it does not exist? You Brits are a damned nuisance and a plague. Thank God for George Washington.

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  192. SPMoore8 says:
    @keypusher
    I haven't read the book, and don't plan to, because I assume if I get to the end I still won't know why late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed. The evidence is lacking. (If I'm wrong about this, set me straight.)

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist. When I was a kid, a pop history book stated matter of factly that iron swords in the hands of northern invaders hacked through the soft bronze shields of the defenders. That was probably written after WWII, and before Vietnam; ascribing the results to superior military technology probably made perfect sense. Now it's fashionable to blame climate change. In this thread, it's unchecked migration of backward barbarians and a loss of will to survive in the advanced states.

    Unfortunately, the tendency of archaeologists and anyone else who speculates on the ancient past always involves a certain amount of inescapable projection. There’s a very witty illustrated book called “Motel of the Mysteries” by David Macaulay that expores this in detail. It’s also a basic theme in Wunderlich’s “Secret of Crete” which takes Evans to task for his interpretation of Knossos.

    All one can do is be aware of one’s biases and explore different methods of comparative events.

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    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for recommending "Motel of the Mysteries". I will be checking it out. As a youth book it looks like it might be helpful for encouraging skepticism of "expert" opinions in the young. Any idea why it is showing up as #1 best seller in Gay & Lesbian Literary Criticism at Amazon right now?
  193. @Svigor
    OT: I found this article on Free Trade interesting:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/21/free-trade-conservative-intellectuals/

    Yep, free trade isn’t free trade. It is just another scam to advance the interests of the well-connected.

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  194. @Mark Caplan

    What Caused the Late Bronze Age Collapse?
     
    Nobody has yet posited ennui.

    Nobody has yet posited ennui.

    I would if I wasn’t so tired.

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  195. @whorefinder
    Wasn't the lameness a euphemism of some sort? I got the sense that the Hephaestus/Vulcan "lameness" was a stand-in for impotence, hence why his wife Aphrodite/Venus cuckolds him with Ares/Mars their own marriage bed (which Hephaestus rigs to trap them in the act and shame them, only to have it backfire on him and have the other gods start laughing at him).

    I know that at least in Hebrew texts, "feet" was a stand-in for sexual organs, so perhaps the euphemism of legs/feet for genitals was an idea carried over into other near east cultures?

    It's also interesting that Hephaestus/Vulcan is the only "practical" god among the main Olympian pantheon. All the other big gods have generalized powers that are a bit more sprawling/vague (e.g. Poseidon controls all the oceans, Hades all the dead, Athena all the wisdom) while Hephaestus did the very specific, concrete task of forging individual metal objects in a hearth. About the only other one who had a concrete task I can think of was Apollo, who did poetry, although that's not as concrete as metal---and Apollo, too, was famous for his trouble with the ladies.

    Mistranslation? Should have been “appendage” rather than “feet”?

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  196. Twinkie says:

    What Caused the Late Bronze Age Collapse?

    Cline’s SPECULATIVE* conclusion is that the collapse might have been “a ‘perfect storm’ of calamities” – which is the actual title of the fifth and the penultimate chapter of his book (the last chapter being an epilogue). He lists earthquakes, climate change (and drought and famine), internal rebellion, and “(possible) invaders and the collapse of international trade” as well as “decentralization and the rise of the private merchant” and, yes, the depredations of the sea peoples, all of which possibly led to a “systemic collapse.”

    *However, it should be noted and emphasized that this is a highly speculative conclusion, because the archaeological evidences are often limited to nonexistent and many of the cited factors have pros and cons, some of which are in conflict with each other.

    Indeed, in discussing the destruction of Meggido, the biblical Armageddon, he notes:

    However, archaeology is a continuously evolving field with new data and new analyses requiring the rethinking of old concepts. In this regard, ongoing studies involving radiocarbon dating of remains found within the destruction of VIIA now are indicating that a date of 1130 BC, or possibly even later, is likely to be correct after all. If this proves to be accurate, it would mean that Meggido was destroyed more than forty years after the Sea People came through the region in 1177BC. In any event, as Ussishkin has noted, “Lack of written sources leaves [open] the questions of who was responsible for the destruction of Stratum VIIA… the city may have been successfully attacked by invading Sea People groups, by Levantine Cannanite elements, by the Israelites, or by a force combined from different groups. In other words, at Megiddo, we have the same situation as seen at the relevant level at Hazor, described above, where the elite parts of the city were destroyed, but those responsible for the destruction cannot be identified. [Cline, p. 118.]

    It’s also worth noting that the Megiddo site contains TWENTY strata of cities, meaning that the city had been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times, which in turn indicates that destruction and resettlement of cities was the norm rather than an aberrant event in ancient times.

    Someone noted above that the Sea People caused destruction deep inland in Mesopotamia. This is false. Cline writes “Even as far to the east as Mesopotamia, evidence of destruction can be seen at multiple sites including Babylon, but there were clearly caused by forces other than the Sea Peoples. We know specificially that the Elamite army, once again marching from southwestern Iran, this time under the command of their king Shutruk-Nahhunte, caused at least some of this devastation.”

    As for the mysterious Sea Peoples, he further mentions several ideas that are odds with what some of the commenters oh-so authoritatively declared above. First, Cline makes it clear that many attributions to the Sea Peoples of the various destructions of cities are not backed by archaeological evidences, which seem to indicate that other forces were at work.

    Indeed he writes:

    Most scholars agree with Finkelstein that the archaeological evidence seems to indicate that we should be looking primarily at the Aegean region, perhaps via the filter of western Anatolia and Cyprus as intermediate stops for some or most along the way, rather than Sicily, Sardinia, and the Western Mediterranean for the origin of many of the Sea Peoples. However, Yasur-Landau suggests that if they were Mycenaeans, they were not those fleeing the ruins of their palaces, at Mycenae and elsewhere, just after those places were destroyed. He points out that there is no evidence of Linear B writing or other aspects of the wealthy palatial period from the thirteen century BC on the Greek mainland at these Anatolian and Cannanite sites. Rather, the material culture of these settlers indicates that they were from “the rather humbler culture of that came [immediately] afterward” during the early twelfth century BC. He also notes that some may even have been farmers rather than raiding warriors, looking to improve their lives by moving to a new new area. Regardless, they were “an entire population of families on the move to a new home.” In any event, he believes that these migrants were not the cause of the collapse of the Late Bronze Age civilizations in this area but were instead “opportunists” who took advantage of the collapse to find themselves new homes. [Cline, pp. 158-159]

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  197. Twinkie says:
    @keypusher
    I haven't read the book, and don't plan to, because I assume if I get to the end I still won't know why late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed. The evidence is lacking. (If I'm wrong about this, set me straight.)

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist. When I was a kid, a pop history book stated matter of factly that iron swords in the hands of northern invaders hacked through the soft bronze shields of the defenders. That was probably written after WWII, and before Vietnam; ascribing the results to superior military technology probably made perfect sense. Now it's fashionable to blame climate change. In this thread, it's unchecked migration of backward barbarians and a loss of will to survive in the advanced states.

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist.

    YES!

    I haven’t read the book, and don’t plan to, because I assume if I get to the end I still won’t know why late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed.

    If you are interested in this period of history or about the Sea Peoples at all, Cline’s book is a good summary of the latest research and a survey of various theories.

    But, no, you won’t find out why and how the Late Bronze Age collapsed (or whether they really did collapse), because the evidence is not there one way or another. What evidence does exists is often contradictory. But that’s history of the ancient times for you. History is rather like weather in that regard – the further one departs from the present, the more speculative and faulty the projection (forward in the case of the weather; backward in the case of history). The gaps are then filled by all kinds of kooks and cranks, a few of who are occasionally correct, but most of who are fraudulent or deluded or even plain ignorant, but who nonetheless capture the imgination of the public all too often.

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  198. Twinkie says:
    @Anon
    Fairly easily. Pretty near everybody in the Iron Age had massed formations of infantrymen. What did you expect, cavalry?

    Heck, even the Plataeans fought with massed formations of infantrymen.

    Fairly easily. Pretty near everybody in the Iron Age had massed formations of infantrymen.

    No.

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  199. @Svigor
    OT: I found this article on Free Trade interesting:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/21/free-trade-conservative-intellectuals/

    That’s a pretty good article by Joel Pollak, thanks for sharing.

    While he makes a good discussion of the trade-offs resulting from free trade policies, like most conservative writers favoring free trade, he essentially asserts by fiat that Ricardian theory is sound. In this case, he says, more than ever.

    In fact, the simplifying assumptions made by Ricardian comparative advantage theory have never been more inapplicable than in today’s world. Contrary to Ricardo’s theoretical assumptions of labor and capital immobility (which were largely applicable in his day), both factors are more mobile than ever, and in particular, capital mobility has come to largely define the trade strategy of multi-nationals.

    Further, national currencies are not defined in terms of gold and silver specie, as they were in Ricardo’s day. Thus Hume’s species-flow mechanism is not at work here, naturally balancing national trade accounts. This is a huge factor that is largely ignored or perhaps not understood in the trade literature of typical conservatives. I have found that most conservative articles pushing free trade, whether in WSJ, National Review, or Commentary, largely consist of trotting out the names of Smith and Ricardo and then lamenting that these backwards upstart populists just don’t understand economic theory.

    You typically hear libertarians and conservatives tell you that trade deficits don’t matter. It’s no more significant than the fact that you have a trade deficit with your local grocery store. It’s just an accounting abstraction.

    But this is obvious nonsense, as there are clear, distinguishing factors in international trade versus domestic or local trade. You do not have to exchange currency to purchase goods at the grocery store. There is a common currency that is recycled by the grocery store back into the local economy of goods and services.

    By contrast, the current combination of the US being the largest consumer nation in the world, having the largest equity and debt markets, and the dollar serving as the world’s reserve currency, have produced a situation where the persistent US trade deficit in goods and services can only exist in tandem with asset bubbles in US debt and equity markets.

    While the US runs a massive deficit in trade of goods and services, it also runs a massive surplus in its financial trade account, due to huge foreign investment in the US stock market and US public debt issuances. This is how our trade account balances, by a highly financialized, bubble economy. As the world transitions off of a dollar-reserve system, which will result in a decline of foreign investment in US securities (already happening with China’s sell-off of their dollar reserves), the US trade account will be forced to balance in another manner.

    Judy Shelton has a great article in WSJ about how the “efficiencies” from lower-tariff trade policies are largely illusory due to foreign currency manipulation.

    “Free trade” is a one way system where the US removes virtually all trade barriers to its imports, while its trading partners proceed to utilize a vast array of non-tariff barriers that work equally as effective as high tariffs.

    Yes, we get the benefit of cheap consumer goods, but at the cost of permanent low wages for the working class, which brings with it a host of rising social costs, which sometimes take decades to play out and can’t be measured and compared immediately with the cost savings from cheaper consumer goods.

    Multi-nationals reap the benefits of the labor cost arbitrage, and conservative pundits are content to pump out the same David Ricardo pieces. From what I can tell, most of them haven’t done much in-depth reading of the other side of the issue, and are just pushing a narrative for their corporate donors.

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  200. MB says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous
    Yes. I don't agree entirely with Milo, but it's very dishonest of the media to keep repeating that Milo "defended pedophilia," when he explicitly differentiated pedophilia from what he described as acceptable.

    I must say, I'm surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people have abandoned him.

    It's a shame, because it reframes the Berkeley riots. Pedophilia is one of those things that makes people dumb, so the situation is going to have conservatives thinking, "well... I guess those riots were right after all."

    Heads are exploding/LibProg overload.
    The homosexual troll has to go.
    But the Berserkeley blac bloc Brownshirts haven’t read The Pink Swastika yet.

    Either way, Drumpf climate change haters did it.
    Or something like that.

    Kill the “Nazis” is the answer.
    That might mean folks like those who post here.

    It was time for the perp to take a walk, but that doesn’t mean his opposition can discriminate or engage coherently and rationally with anybody who disagrees with their mental disease.

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  201. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    The Egyptians were never conquered by the Hittites. The closest the Hittites ever got to Egypt was Kadesh. Are you thinking of the Hyskos? But they only occupied northern Egypt and for a relatively short period.

    Heavy cavalry was a military innovation that gave barbarians a big, albeit temporary, advantage over the Roman empires. The Byzantines acknowledged this by adopting the innovation as their cataphracts.

    “Are you thinking of the Hyskos?”

    Yes, probably.

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  202. Mr. Anon says:
    @Boomstick
    1200 BC is around the same time as a possible "Dorian invasion" of the Mycenaean Greeks by what is thought to be Macedonians. All the major palaces were burned and the area depopulated, but the newcomers (if any) didn't seem to leave behind a culture for another century or two. When the archeological record picks up again languages and culture have changed to Dorian.

    Maybe our hypothetical invaders were pastoral and illiterate, and didn't leave much in the way of artifacts behind after they slotted the locals. But this requires the invaders to be really good at demolishing walled, organized cities while not having a very advanced civilization themselves.

    Disease? Maybe, but one would expect the victims to mention something, seeing as how they mentioned the Sea People hooligans. It all seems very strange that the Hittite empire collapsed, the Greeks collapsed, the Near East was burned, and the Egyptians hard pressed all within about 50 years of each other. Multiple empires, multiple city-states, of multiple ethnicities all destroyed in the space of a few decades. The invaders are mentioned prominently, but disease isn't. Famine? OK, but there can be multiple causes of that, including marauding hooligans burning crops and stopping trade.

    Maybe there was an ancient Alexander, or a few "Odysseus, sacker of cities" types that had a following, but whose names are lost to history.

    Rome was invaded a couple of times during its ascendency – by the Gauls, and by the Carthaginians. Perhaps the onset of dark ages requires a double or triple whammy: famine, then plagues, then invasions. And even then it might require that a people have lost its nerve.

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  203. Mr. Anon says:
    @blacktooth
    I'm throwing out another possibility, albeit a controversial one. Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein, and he wrote a number of books regarding the collapses of numerous ancient civilizations - attributing them to a massive cometary bombardment that swings through here every 3,600 years or so...

    http://velikovsky.org/en/work.html

    “I’m throwing out another possibility, albeit a controversial one. Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein, and he wrote a number of books regarding the collapses of numerous ancient civilizations – attributing them to a massive cometary bombardment that swings through here every 3,600 years or so…”

    He also thought that the plent Venus is a comet, and that the earth once stopped rotating on its axis for a few hours.

    By the way, of what relevance is it to say that ” Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein”? Is that supposed to lend him an aura of credibility that he otherwise wouldn’t have? A lot of people fit that bill: Moe Fine was a contemporary of Einstein. So were Rudolph Hess, Gloria Swanson, Chico Marx, and L. Ron Hubbard. And I don’t much care what they have to say about ancient history either.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Hell, I don't much care what Einstein himself would have to say about it; he had no particular expertise in the matter – he probably studied it less than I myself have.
  204. @Expletive Deleted

    To keep supermarkets stocked in the UK, California produce was flown in. Problem is that it takes 120 calories to fly in 1 calorie of lettuce.
     
    I guess that makes the Scots antifragile in that respect. UK gov. is forever whining at them to change their (admittedly grotesque and primitive) dietary habits, eat up their "5-a-day"salads and fruit like good barbarians, and lay off the Buckfast and deep-fried MarsBars, because it costs the NHS money. They die a decade or more earlier than Home Counties (former Imperial Core territory) English. And they don't care, apparently.
    Lettuce could vanish along with every vegetable on the planet (apart from rutabaga/turnips, each January) and I doubt it would even be noticed in Glasgow. On the other hand, a lard and malting barley shortage would probably finish them off for good.

    I guess that makes the Scots antifragile in that respect.

    Funniest thing I’ve seen all day. I’ve got to admit, that when I see leafy greens in a lunch place that my mind goes straight to E. Coli and the odds that the dozen-plus people that handled those veggies all washed their hands first. At least fried food takes decades to make you sick.

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  205. @Randal

    So maybe the iron people won out not because of (primitive) iron’s superiority to bronze as an edged weapon, but rather because, due to iron’s relative abundance, hoards of invaders could be armed who then overran those civilizations in which only the nobility could afford to arm themselves with bronze.
     
    This argument reminds me of the often argued reason for guns replacing bows, despite early guns being far inferior to bows/longbows for most military purposes, being that it's a lot easier and quicker to teach a man to use a primitive gun than to use a bow properly (especially a longbow). Crossbows were likewise easy to learn to use, but much more expensive to make.

    It could take years to train men in the use of the longbow, whereas being reasonably proficient with a primitive gun only took days, or at most weeks. Although the English scored some famous victories over armoured French cavalry with the longbow, there is still some debate as to how effective longbows were against good quality plate armour. Whereas primitive guns could be relied on to pierce armour, and the more that guns dominated, the less armour there was on the battlefield, as it added weight without giving sufficient protection.

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  206. AaronB says:
    @Patrick B
    "The real question is why some civilizations endure so much longer than others, like Egypt and China. The answer is usually that the destabilizing element of egotistic expansion is much reduced."

    Are you seriously this naive? Have you ever hung out with a group of Chinese businessmen - I can't him of people more egotistical or expansionist.

    You are quite correct, Patrick. The Chinese have proven to lack resiliency to the Western disease, and are no longer what they used to be. These days they are as egoistic as any Westerner, even more. Which is why China doesn’t have much of a future as a distinctive civilization, and it’s ancient unique character has finally come to an end. China seems doomed to live on as a second or third rate Western country, and will eventually devour itself like we are doing.

    However, even if China is at long last over, it did survive longer than many others, with a philosophy that did not admire egoistic expansion as a way of life.

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  207. Olorin says:
    @Zoodles
    Keep in mind that early Iron weapons werent superior to bronze.In fact the early high-tin hand hammered bronze used in this time period is quite a bit harder than early iron. The only reason iron became common was its cheapness and availability. Its not until people figured out how to turn Iron into steel that iron weapons became the better choice.

    And bearing in mind that non-alloyed iron is as brittle as glass.

    As anybody knows who ever dropped his wife’s Le Creuset Dutch oven on the paved driveway, coming in from the kamado.
    :D

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  208. Olorin says:
    @keypusher
    I haven't read the book, and don't plan to, because I assume if I get to the end I still won't know why late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed. The evidence is lacking. (If I'm wrong about this, set me straight.)

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist. When I was a kid, a pop history book stated matter of factly that iron swords in the hands of northern invaders hacked through the soft bronze shields of the defenders. That was probably written after WWII, and before Vietnam; ascribing the results to superior military technology probably made perfect sense. Now it's fashionable to blame climate change. In this thread, it's unchecked migration of backward barbarians and a loss of will to survive in the advanced states.

    key, the point isn’t to “know why Bronze Age civilizations collapsed.”

    The point is to be able to think with a broader base of historical fact about how prior complex, magnificent human societies worked.

    And to have more informed understanding–going forward–of why and how they failed.

    You’re being ungenerous and inaccurate in saying

    But precisely because the evidence is lacking, people can put forward whatever theory fits the Zeitgeist.

    Cline is in fact a relatively conservative scholar, making use of evidence in an extensively documented manner.

    And his primary observation is NOT about climate change. It is much more complex. As I note in my comment above, he riffs heavily off of Colin Renfrew***, whom I consider a most interesting observer of these ancient matters.

    We forget our ancestors at a heavy price.

    ***I highly recommend Renfrew’s Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins.

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  209. Pericles says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Is Jaynes' theory falsifiable?

    Is Jaynes’ theory falsifiable?

    Well, what do your voices tell you?

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  210. @Barnard
    Average salary is $72,000 a year, which I would guess is more than most players would make outside of basketball. Many also play in other countries during the WNBA's offseason. A story like that does make you wonder if more players don't get driven from the league because of it's culture. It's not like more than a few are getting rich playing the WNBA.


    https://www.reference.com/sports-active-lifestyle/much-money-wnba-players-make-99a442a0580783ac

    It does take a few years for a gym teacher or fedex driver to earn that much.

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  211. Pericles says:
    @Diversity Heretic
    A tablet discovered in an archeological excavation of an ancient Near East city at the level pertaining to the time of the invasion of the Peoples of the Sea has just been translated:

    Our women HATE HATE HATE the beta males who built and maintain this city, but think that those Sea People men are real studs!

    Our women HATE HATE HATE the beta males who built and maintain this city, but think that those Sea People men are real studs!

    “Remember us!”

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  212. @Mike Zwick
    The Hittites always interested me. They were an Indo European people similiar to the Germanic and Celtic peoples. If they had survived until the present, would Turkey and Norther Syria be more culturally European today?

    If they had survived until the present, would Turkey and Norther Syria be more culturally European today?

    Turkey was culturally European until the 16th century, when Muslims won and started their favorite pastime — genocide and ethnic cleansing. The last bout of it was in the early 20th century.

    So no, it wouldn’t. The problem is Islam, not language or genetics.

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  213. @Chrisnonymous
    Yes. I don't agree entirely with Milo, but it's very dishonest of the media to keep repeating that Milo "defended pedophilia," when he explicitly differentiated pedophilia from what he described as acceptable.

    I must say, I'm surprised at how quickly and thoroughly people have abandoned him.

    It's a shame, because it reframes the Berkeley riots. Pedophilia is one of those things that makes people dumb, so the situation is going to have conservatives thinking, "well... I guess those riots were right after all."

    Let me be clear: I do not advocate carnal or romantic relations between adults and minors myself, but as has been said, the merest hint of the topic makes otherwise rational persons stark, raving mad. I’ve been busy with other things, but the one quotation I actually heard in the news was a completely accurate clinical differentiation between pedophilia and ephepophila (i.e hebephilia).

    I finally perused a transcript and, while I can appreciate vehement disagreement to his viewpoint, the stuff he says would not be out of place in a perfectly dignified seminar on criminal law or the philosophy of jurisprudence: questions of where to draw bright lines in a difficult effort to balance freedom and protection, etc.

    If he’d made all the same statements in the classic context of, say, whether eighteen-year-olds who can vote and be drafted shouldn’t also be allowed to have a glass of wine, the hysteria would not have ensued.

    The most controversial statement is in response to the guy asking whether Yiannopoulos “advocat[es] cross generational relationships” to which he responds in the affirmative, but even then context suggests he means ages of consent for teenagers are thorny; only moments before he clearly takes the correct position that they are arbitrary but necessary (and necessarily arbitrary).

    I actually don’t read anything which should be cause for unqualified defenestration. It’s Mr. Derbyshire’s “The Talk” all over again, with honesty regarding disturbing realities about sex (rather than race) being the catalyst for hysteria.

    Doubtless aspersions shall now be heaped upon me in turn.

    Read More
    • Agree: SPMoore8, Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    the catalyst for hysteria
     
    What hysteria?

    It's a straightforward takedown. The pederasty stuff was just the cover story. They're banking on people not looking at the details.
  214. Ivy says:

    Your fellow Unz Review author Michael Hudson has an article of interest on the topic. He addresses various themes familiar to many readers, from debt to history to philology, for example.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/02/michael-hudson-why-failing-to-solve-personal-debt-and-polarization-will-usher-in-a-new-dark-age.html

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  215. res says:
    @Anon
    I really doubt any smith was made lame to keep them near a metal source, rather it was the profession of choice if you happened to be lame. Farmers have to walk miles behind a plow. Soldiers do a lot of marching. Merchants back in earlier times were a lot more mobile than we realize today, because your local village in the Bronze or Iron Ages often did not have a large enough customer base to provide a merchant with a living. Merchants were more like peddlers who wandered about with pack animals of goods. The fixed store with one location is a more modern invention, and it needs a bigger city to support it as an economic enterprise. Even as late as the Middle Ages, most merchants were migratory, taking their goods from fair to fair. See Fernand Braudel on the subject.

    Anyway, in a society that needed mobility to make a living, if you were born lame, becoming a smith who worked a fixed-in-place forge was one way to get ahead in life.

    Anyway, in a society that needed mobility to make a living, if you were born lame, becoming a smith who worked a fixed-in-place forge was one way to get ahead in life.

    Especially given that weakness in one limb often is accompanied by increased strength in the others.

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  216. res says:
    @SPMoore8
    Unfortunately, the tendency of archaeologists and anyone else who speculates on the ancient past always involves a certain amount of inescapable projection. There's a very witty illustrated book called "Motel of the Mysteries" by David Macaulay that expores this in detail. It's also a basic theme in Wunderlich's "Secret of Crete" which takes Evans to task for his interpretation of Knossos.

    All one can do is be aware of one's biases and explore different methods of comparative events.

    Thanks for recommending “Motel of the Mysteries”. I will be checking it out. As a youth book it looks like it might be helpful for encouraging skepticism of “expert” opinions in the young. Any idea why it is showing up as #1 best seller in Gay & Lesbian Literary Criticism at Amazon right now?

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    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    It is NOT a youth book. It is a satire of Evans at Crete as well as the discovery of Tut's tomb. Basic premise is that 3 k years from now, archaeologists discover an intact 20th century motel, replete with everything you would expect to find there. However, everything they find is interpreted in a religious and ceremonial manner, including the toothbrushes, toilet seat, etc.
  217. @27 year old
    >Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God’s wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything

    Hilarious, but class struggle is actually the best way to explain everything.

    Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to fear from throwing off your chains!

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  218. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Moe Fine was a contemporary of Einstein.

    LOL.

    Although the English scored some famous victories over armoured French cavalry with the longbow, there is still some debate as to how effective longbows were against good quality plate armour.

    The longbow didn’t score those famous victories by being effective against proper plate. Discussed in the Rogue One thread:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-and-sing/

    Arrows are comically overrated in the modern mind. Know how many arrows it takes to kill even an unarmored man? A lot. Even if an arrow did penetrate decent plate (a dubious prospect), it probably wouldn’t go through the padding beneath. And even if it did, it probably wouldn’t go very far. Plate was some serious shit.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Arrows are comically overrated in the modern mind. Know how many arrows it takes to kill even an unarmored man? A lot
     
    Don't be an idiot. I can kill YOU with ONE arrow. I've certainly killed a lot of animals over the years with arrows. Arrows - obviously depending on size, shape, and velocity - can create a HUGE wound channel with massive tissue damage and blood loss. Within its effective range, it is far deadlier than handguns, for example, with its comparatively puny wound channel and projectile weight/size.

    You really have to stop repeating this kind of nonsense and retreating to old movie footages to make your points about serious and deadly topics like weapons and military tactics.

    Plate was some serious shit.
     
    Yes it was, but plate was very expensive, and it was not possible to equip the majority of men-at-arm with plate armor. It was also heavy and made men less mobile in difficult terrain such as heavy mud.

    The point of massed arrow fire - or any pre-modern projectile fire, for that matter - was not so much to create a large number of deaths, though that could and did happen when the said fire occurred over a sustained period of time against relatively immobile targets attacked by a mobile force (e.g. horse archers). The main point of massed projectile fire was to disrupt the target's formations (create dispersion rather than concentration of men) and also to create an erosion of morale... which would then be exploited by one's melee forces, especially shock cavalry if one had such an arm.
  219. Spmoore8 says:
    @res
    Thanks for recommending "Motel of the Mysteries". I will be checking it out. As a youth book it looks like it might be helpful for encouraging skepticism of "expert" opinions in the young. Any idea why it is showing up as #1 best seller in Gay & Lesbian Literary Criticism at Amazon right now?

    It is NOT a youth book. It is a satire of Evans at Crete as well as the discovery of Tut’s tomb. Basic premise is that 3 k years from now, archaeologists discover an intact 20th century motel, replete with everything you would expect to find there. However, everything they find is interpreted in a religious and ceremonial manner, including the toothbrushes, toilet seat, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @res
    That's how it is marketed at https://www.amazon.com/Motel-Mysteries-David-Macaulay-ebook/dp/B00CR6U42O/ (e.g. explicitly states grades 7 and up) and the publisher is listed as HMH Books for Young Readers. Perhaps this is due to the niche David Macauley usually publishes in?

    I was not being pejorative, just descriptive. It sounds like an engaging and brief (96 pages) book written in a manner comprehensible to high schoolers that could be very useful in showing an example of "expert" type foolishness.
  220. @keypusher
    Indeed. But (correct me if I am wrong) the barbarians wanted what the Chinese had. The Chinese did not want what the barbarians had.

    We had basically reached the limits of size for a centralized government, correct, given the technology of the day. There was no real reason to try to get more tundra or semi-tundra lands. In a more decentralized Tang Dynasty, efforts were made to conquer Vietnam or go toward the south, a much more meaningful and realistic goal.

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  221. res says:
    @Spmoore8
    It is NOT a youth book. It is a satire of Evans at Crete as well as the discovery of Tut's tomb. Basic premise is that 3 k years from now, archaeologists discover an intact 20th century motel, replete with everything you would expect to find there. However, everything they find is interpreted in a religious and ceremonial manner, including the toothbrushes, toilet seat, etc.

    That’s how it is marketed at https://www.amazon.com/Motel-Mysteries-David-Macaulay-ebook/dp/B00CR6U42O/ (e.g. explicitly states grades 7 and up) and the publisher is listed as HMH Books for Young Readers. Perhaps this is due to the niche David Macauley usually publishes in?

    I was not being pejorative, just descriptive. It sounds like an engaging and brief (96 pages) book written in a manner comprehensible to high schoolers that could be very useful in showing an example of “expert” type foolishness.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    Okay, great, I just didn't want you to be taken in by the joke. As for its popularity in the LGBT* community, I have no idea. I just looked it over again tonight and there's nothing remotely "gay" let alone sexual in it. But it's still fun.
  222. @dearieme
    But why treat the OT as history? The archaeology strongly suggests that it isn't.

    If not treated with religious deference, the OT isn’t any worse a historical source than Livy or even some parts of Tacitus. There is some limited archaeological confirmation of OT narratives, e.g., an inscription in a tunnel dug under Jerusalem to the Siloam spring, references to several Omride kings in diplomatic correspondence. Underneath all the propaganda, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, and even Judges provide some information about Cananite life and intrigues among the various tribal leaders and paramount leaders that intrigued in the Levant from 1000 BC to say 400 BC. The closer to the present the better the evidence.

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  223. @TheJester
    Calvary cannot operate against organized, close-ranked Roman Legions or other phalanxes of infantry armed with spears, pikes, or bayonets. Horses will not move against them. This is why the Swiss pikemen defeated armored cavalry in the Battle of Nancy in 1477 and why Wellington's forces arranged in infantry squares survived eleven charges of French cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

    The problem with the Byzantines is that the Roman infantry had much earlier given up their armor and close-formation warfare in the late 4th Century. From that time forward, Roman infantry fought as mobs (they were mobs of barbarians) ... just like everyone else, including their barbarian enemies. Whether armored or not, cavalry work very well against disorganized mobs that, after the Roman Legions, typified infantry in warfare until the end of the Middle Ages.

    A measure of the effectiveness of organized, close-ranked Roman Legions against mobs and calvary is perhaps best illustrated when 230,000 Britains attacked 10,000 Legionnaires during the Iceni rebellion in Britain in 58 AD. Tacitus reports that almost eighty thousand Britons were slaughtered compared to only four hundred Romans dead. The Britons had cavalry and chariots but, due to Suetonius' clever placement of the Legions, the horses would not move on the Roman front (a wall of shields, spears, and swords) and the Britons could not get on the Roman flanks.

    The barbarian invention of the saddle tree and solid stirrups allowed heavily armored cavalry armed with long lances to attack infantry with ease, even if they were formed in a protective formation. These inventions combined with compound bows were also effective against infantry, no matter how well disciplined. A Macedonian phalanx, armed with sixteen foot spears might have withstood a heavy cavalry charge. But the Roman cohort formation had made the phalanx obsolete.

    In fact the battle of Carrhae suggests that the Roman army had no good defense against barbarian cavalry with stirrups no matter how the cavalry was armed. I believe that the first effective infantry weapon against heavy cavalry was the Swiss halbred. This weapon gave infrantry “reach” over cavalry no matter how long deployable cavalry lances were. Again, my recollection is that the infantry square as Wellington knew it didn’t appear on the scene until sometime not long before the Thirty Year’s War. The pikes used in these early infantry squares were direct descendants of the halbred.

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    • Replies: @TheJester
    Both the Greek phalanx and the Roman square were vulnerable to either cavalry or infantry on their flanks ... then, the enemy "rolled up the flanks".

    In the Greek and Roman style of formation warfare, good generalship required protecting the flanks. Roman military disasters were almost all associated with the enemy getting on the Roman flanks. This was Hannibal's specialty.
  224. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    These inventions combined with compound bows were also effective against infantry, no matter how well disciplined.

    Composite. The Mongols would have loooved to get their hands on compound bows. :)

    And P.S., halberd.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Composite. The Mongols would have loooved to get their hands on compound bows.
     
    As Germans say, "Jawohl." There are too many morons on this blog commenting on topics about which they know little to nothing.

    As you probably know, the Mongols - as with most Central Asian nomads and East Asian armies - used recurved composite bows, usually made of wood (bamboo mostly), animal horn, and sinew put together with animal glue (see: http://www.primitiveways.com/pt-composite_bow.html).

    Compound bows are modern contraptions with levers (pulleys and such).
  225. Spmoore8 says:
    @res
    That's how it is marketed at https://www.amazon.com/Motel-Mysteries-David-Macaulay-ebook/dp/B00CR6U42O/ (e.g. explicitly states grades 7 and up) and the publisher is listed as HMH Books for Young Readers. Perhaps this is due to the niche David Macauley usually publishes in?

    I was not being pejorative, just descriptive. It sounds like an engaging and brief (96 pages) book written in a manner comprehensible to high schoolers that could be very useful in showing an example of "expert" type foolishness.

    Okay, great, I just didn’t want you to be taken in by the joke. As for its popularity in the LGBT* community, I have no idea. I just looked it over again tonight and there’s nothing remotely “gay” let alone sexual in it. But it’s still fun.

    Read More
  226. @whorefinder
    Wasn't the lameness a euphemism of some sort? I got the sense that the Hephaestus/Vulcan "lameness" was a stand-in for impotence, hence why his wife Aphrodite/Venus cuckolds him with Ares/Mars their own marriage bed (which Hephaestus rigs to trap them in the act and shame them, only to have it backfire on him and have the other gods start laughing at him).

    I know that at least in Hebrew texts, "feet" was a stand-in for sexual organs, so perhaps the euphemism of legs/feet for genitals was an idea carried over into other near east cultures?

    It's also interesting that Hephaestus/Vulcan is the only "practical" god among the main Olympian pantheon. All the other big gods have generalized powers that are a bit more sprawling/vague (e.g. Poseidon controls all the oceans, Hades all the dead, Athena all the wisdom) while Hephaestus did the very specific, concrete task of forging individual metal objects in a hearth. About the only other one who had a concrete task I can think of was Apollo, who did poetry, although that's not as concrete as metal---and Apollo, too, was famous for his trouble with the ladies.

    Hephaestus is the prototypical nerdy beta.

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  227. @Autochthon
    Let me be clear: I do not advocate carnal or romantic relations between adults and minors myself, but as has been said, the merest hint of the topic makes otherwise rational persons stark, raving mad. I've been busy with other things, but the one quotation I actually heard in the news was a completely accurate clinical differentiation between pedophilia and ephepophila (i.e hebephilia).

    I finally perused a transcript and, while I can appreciate vehement disagreement to his viewpoint, the stuff he says would not be out of place in a perfectly dignified seminar on criminal law or the philosophy of jurisprudence: questions of where to draw bright lines in a difficult effort to balance freedom and protection, etc.

    If he'd made all the same statements in the classic context of, say, whether eighteen-year-olds who can vote and be drafted shouldn't also be allowed to have a glass of wine, the hysteria would not have ensued.

    The most controversial statement is in response to the guy asking whether Yiannopoulos "advocat[es] cross generational relationships" to which he responds in the affirmative, but even then context suggests he means ages of consent for teenagers are thorny; only moments before he clearly takes the correct position that they are arbitrary but necessary (and necessarily arbitrary).

    I actually don't read anything which should be cause for unqualified defenestration. It's Mr. Derbyshire's "The Talk" all over again, with honesty regarding disturbing realities about sex (rather than race) being the catalyst for hysteria.

    Doubtless aspersions shall now be heaped upon me in turn.

    the catalyst for hysteria

    What hysteria?

    It’s a straightforward takedown. The pederasty stuff was just the cover story. They’re banking on people not looking at the details.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous

    They’re banking on people not looking at the details
     
    Exactly, which is why they keep repeating that he defended pedophilia.

    And after hearing that, the few people who do look into the details will see a defense where none exists.

  228. Twinkie says:
    @Anonymous

    Moe Fine was a contemporary of Einstein.
     
    LOL.

    Although the English scored some famous victories over armoured French cavalry with the longbow, there is still some debate as to how effective longbows were against good quality plate armour.
     
    The longbow didn't score those famous victories by being effective against proper plate. Discussed in the Rogue One thread:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-and-sing/

    Arrows are comically overrated in the modern mind. Know how many arrows it takes to kill even an unarmored man? A lot. Even if an arrow did penetrate decent plate (a dubious prospect), it probably wouldn't go through the padding beneath. And even if it did, it probably wouldn't go very far. Plate was some serious shit.

    Arrows are comically overrated in the modern mind. Know how many arrows it takes to kill even an unarmored man? A lot

    Don’t be an idiot. I can kill YOU with ONE arrow. I’ve certainly killed a lot of animals over the years with arrows. Arrows – obviously depending on size, shape, and velocity – can create a HUGE wound channel with massive tissue damage and blood loss. Within its effective range, it is far deadlier than handguns, for example, with its comparatively puny wound channel and projectile weight/size.

    You really have to stop repeating this kind of nonsense and retreating to old movie footages to make your points about serious and deadly topics like weapons and military tactics.

    Plate was some serious shit.

    Yes it was, but plate was very expensive, and it was not possible to equip the majority of men-at-arm with plate armor. It was also heavy and made men less mobile in difficult terrain such as heavy mud.

    The point of massed arrow fire – or any pre-modern projectile fire, for that matter – was not so much to create a large number of deaths, though that could and did happen when the said fire occurred over a sustained period of time against relatively immobile targets attacked by a mobile force (e.g. horse archers). The main point of massed projectile fire was to disrupt the target’s formations (create dispersion rather than concentration of men) and also to create an erosion of morale… which would then be exploited by one’s melee forces, especially shock cavalry if one had such an arm.

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Absolutely. Anonymous has obviously never killed a deer with a bow. (I typically use a wooden recurve strung at about sixty pounds, not some modern, candy-pants compound bow with four pulleys like the fat, lazy people do – it still makes one Hell of a mess...).
  229. Twinkie says:
    @Anonymous

    These inventions combined with compound bows were also effective against infantry, no matter how well disciplined.
     
    Composite. The Mongols would have loooved to get their hands on compound bows. :)

    And P.S., halberd.

    Composite. The Mongols would have loooved to get their hands on compound bows.

    As Germans say, “Jawohl.” There are too many morons on this blog commenting on topics about which they know little to nothing.

    As you probably know, the Mongols – as with most Central Asian nomads and East Asian armies – used recurved composite bows, usually made of wood (bamboo mostly), animal horn, and sinew put together with animal glue (see: http://www.primitiveways.com/pt-composite_bow.html).

    Compound bows are modern contraptions with levers (pulleys and such).

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  230. @Bill P
    Yes. If bicameralism were the default state prior to about 1,000 BC then there should have been tribes in the New World and Oceania where the people still hadn't developed subjective consciousness when Europeans first ran into them. That doesn't seem to have been the case.

    However, I do think Jaynes was on to something, but he got it backward. The development of civilization and the Bronze Age allowed for such a concentration of resources that leaders could create monuments, temples and rituals that so dominated social consciousness and mores that people experienced a suspension of disbelief. As long as there was an effective state monopoly on technology and wealth this situation could go on indefinitely. However, when efficient ironworking was discovered the abundance and low cost of weapons and tools led to a democratization of technology and a redistribution of wealth, and ultimately contempt for the gods and public works that characterized hierarchical Bronze Age societies. The next step, naturally, was to sack them.

    The religions that emerged after the Bronze Age are notable for relying much less on monuments and kingly power, and more on texts. The idea that God existed in a collection of words rather than in monuments or people was revolutionary at the time. This may be what influenced Jaynes' theory most of all: the contrast between "Obey Giant" societies and those in which one could find the Word of God and the Law merely by opening a scroll.

    The 20th century represents something of a return to popular suspension of disbelief. The Age of Dictators, massive public works, and mass communication are all sort of reminiscent of Bronze Age societies. Even the invocation of the Statue of Liberty (with accompanying inscription) as a moral imperative seems pretty familiar when you consider ancient Egyptian monuments with their inscriptions and steles.

    Yours is an interesting theory, but I suspect it vastly over-emphasises (((one culture’s))) preference for scripture over idols and monuments and imputes anachronistically inaccurate levels of literacy to the populace. For centuries after the collapse in question, religion and civic life continued to center upon monuments and idols, and most people did not read. The Greeks famously had the explicitly religious temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Colossus of Rhodes, all surely inspiring a sense of awe and authority in the hoi polloi. The Persians built the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (designed by Greek architects) long after the collapse. Heck, only the Pyramid of Giza predates the collapse, and Taharqa was still erecting pyramids (focii of religious awe) in the seventh century before Christ.

    I reckon only after monotheism and the proscriptions of idols came to dominate the ancient world via Rome’s adoption of Christianity did the shift you describe occur – even the temples in Jerusalem were all built long after the end of the Bronze Age and the concomitant collapse.

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  231. Twinkie says:
    @TheJester
    Calvary cannot operate against organized, close-ranked Roman Legions or other phalanxes of infantry armed with spears, pikes, or bayonets. Horses will not move against them. This is why the Swiss pikemen defeated armored cavalry in the Battle of Nancy in 1477 and why Wellington's forces arranged in infantry squares survived eleven charges of French cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

    The problem with the Byzantines is that the Roman infantry had much earlier given up their armor and close-formation warfare in the late 4th Century. From that time forward, Roman infantry fought as mobs (they were mobs of barbarians) ... just like everyone else, including their barbarian enemies. Whether armored or not, cavalry work very well against disorganized mobs that, after the Roman Legions, typified infantry in warfare until the end of the Middle Ages.

    A measure of the effectiveness of organized, close-ranked Roman Legions against mobs and calvary is perhaps best illustrated when 230,000 Britains attacked 10,000 Legionnaires during the Iceni rebellion in Britain in 58 AD. Tacitus reports that almost eighty thousand Britons were slaughtered compared to only four hundred Romans dead. The Britons had cavalry and chariots but, due to Suetonius' clever placement of the Legions, the horses would not move on the Roman front (a wall of shields, spears, and swords) and the Britons could not get on the Roman flanks.

    Calvary cannot operate against organized, close-ranked Roman Legions or other phalanxes of infantry armed with spears, pikes, or bayonets.

    This is much too simplistic. Yes, it is true that horses don’t like to run into packed masses of men. But arrows do. :)

    First of all, for much of the history of human warfare, cavalry was a skirmishing force. It was designed to ride in front of the enemy, loose some projectiles (usually javelins, later arrows fired from excellent recurved composite bows), and retreat away from return fire or enemy charge. Rinse and repeat. Then when the enemy’s morale broke and began to flee, chase and cut down.

    Once heavy calvalry came into being (often credited to Parthians or Bactrians or even Macedonians, and so forth, but the consensus is somewhere around modern Persia or the regions around the Black Sea), it then became possible for an ALL-cavalry army to do something more than engage in skirmishing. The skirmishing cavalry (now with much more effective recurved composite bows) would harry, disrupt, and demoralize an infantry force, and when sufficiently weakened, the heavy cavalry could charge into the now disorganized enemy and rout him. This was even more effective if the said charge was conducted into the flanks or the rear. Note that cavalry had much greater mobility and maneuverability – it could move and hit infantry in the flanks or the rear much more easily than the other way around.

    Added to that, an all-cavalry force had much greater operational and strategic mobility – it could now intercept its enemy and/or choose where the fight took place. If its commander found the location unsuitable, it could retreat faster than the infantry force could give chase, regroup, and pick another location for battle.

    A measure of the effectiveness of organized, close-ranked Roman Legions against mobs and calvary is perhaps best illustrated when 230,000 Britains attacked 10,000 Legionnaires during the Iceni rebellion in Britain in 58 AD.

    230,000 Brythonic warriors is a sheer fantasy/Roman propaganda. The number of warriors in the Iceni rebellion was probably fewer than the Roman legionaries. Furthermore, while the Britons had cavalry and chariots, they were extremely expensive and probably very few in number. In any case, Brythonic cavalry at the time was a light skirmishing force and chariots were useless except on wide, flat, level ground (the main role of chariots was to ferry leaders to the battle – it was a prestige jeep, if you will).

    why Wellington’s forces arranged in infantry squares survived eleven charges of French cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

    Infantry squares are dandy if they contain cavalry for counter-charge and lots of firearms for launching volleys into the charging horses. Alas, the cost is zero mobility and vulnerability to missile fire (concentration of men = easy targets).

    See Carrhae: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carrhae

    After being informed of the presence of the Parthian army, Crassus’ army panicked. His general Cassius recommended that the army be deployed in the traditional Roman fashion, with infantry forming the center and cavalry on the wings. At first Crassus agreed, but he soon changed his mind and redeployed his men into a hollow square, each side formed by twelve cohorts.[19] This formation would protect his forces from being outflanked, but at the cost of mobility. The Roman forces advanced and came to a stream. Crassus’ generals advised him to make camp, and attack the next morning in order to give his men a chance to rest. Publius, however, was eager to fight and managed to convince Crassus to confront the Parthians immediately.[20]

    The Parthians went to great lengths to intimidate the Romans. First they beat a great number of hollow drums and the Roman troops were unsettled by the loud and cacophonous noise. Surena then ordered his cataphracts to cover their armor in cloths and advance. When they were within sight of the Romans, they simultaneously dropped the cloths, revealing their shining armor. The sight was designed to intimidate the Romans, but Surena was impressed by the lack of effect it had.[21] Though he had originally planned to shatter the Roman lines with a charge by his cataphracts, he judged that this would not be enough to break them at this point. Thus, he sent his horse archers to surround the Roman square. Crassus sent his skirmishers to drive the horse archers off, but they were driven back by the latter’s arrows. The horse archers then engaged the legionaries. The legionaries were protected by their large shields (scuta) and armor (reenactment with composite bows do not answer the question whether arrows can penetrate mail), but these could not cover the entire body. Some historians describe the arrows partially penetrating the Roman shields, and nailing the shields to the limbs of the Roman infantry. Other historians state that the majority of wounds inflicted were nonfatal hits to exposed limbs.[22] The Romans repeatedly advanced towards the Parthians to attempt to engage in close-quarters fighting, but the horse archers were always able to retreat safely, loosing Parthian shots as they withdrew. The legionaries then formed the testudo formation, in which they locked their shields together to present a nearly impenetrable front to missiles.[23] However, this formation severely restricted their ability in melee combat. The Parthian cataphracts exploited this weakness and repeatedly charged the Roman line, causing panic and inflicting heavy casualties.[24] When the Romans tried to loosen up their formation in order to repel the cataphracts, the latter rapidly retreated and the horse archers resumed shooting at the now more exposed legionnaires.[23]

    Crassus now hoped that his legionaries could hold out until the Parthians ran out of arrows.[25] However, Surena used thousands of camels to resupply his horse archers. Upon realizing this, Crassus dispatched his son Publius with 1,300 Gallic cavalry, 500 archers and eight cohorts of legionnaires to drive off the horse archers. The horse archers feigned retreat, drawing off Publius’ force who suffered heavy casualties from arrow fire. Once Publius and his men were sufficiently separated from the rest of the army, the Parthian cataphracts confronted them while the horse archers cut off their retreat. In the ensuing combat the Gauls fought bravely, however their inferiority in weapons and armor was evident and they eventually retreated to a hill, where Publius committed suicide while the rest of his men were slaughtered.[26] Crassus, unaware of his son’s fate but realizing Publius was in danger, ordered a general advance. He was confronted with the sight of his son’s head on a spear. The Parthian horse archers began to surround the Roman infantry, shooting at them from all directions, while the cataphracts mounted a series of charges that disorganized the Romans. The Parthian onslaught did not cease until nightfall. Crassus, deeply shaken by his son’s death, ordered a retreat to the nearby town of Carrhae, leaving behind thousands of wounded, who were captured by the Parthians.[27]

    The next day, Surena sent a message to the Romans, offering to negotiate with Crassus. Surena proposed a truce, allowing the Roman army to return to Syria safely in exchange for Rome giving up all territory east of the Euphrates. Surena either sent an embassy to the Romans by the hills or went himself stating he wanted a peace conference to evacuate.[28][29] Crassus was reluctant to meet with the Parthians, but his troops threatened to mutiny if he did not.[30] At the meeting, a Parthian pulled at Crassus’ reins, sparking violence. Crassus and his generals were killed. After his death, the Parthians allegedly poured molten gold down his throat, in a symbolic gesture mocking Crassus’ renowned greed.[31] The remaining Romans at Carrhae attempted to flee, but most were captured or killed. Roman casualties amounted to about 20,000 killed and 10,000 captured[32] making the battle one of the costliest defeats in Roman history. Parthian casualties were minimal.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Carrhae was an exception. Subsequent Roman campaigns against Parthia had significantly greater success. You're largely right but in this case Crassus was extremely foolish and Surena quite the reverse.
  232. @Achilles

    maybe the ancient Europeans like the Greeks and even perhaps the Romans were more Northern European than we think today.
     
    Much civilizational advance was made around the shores of the Black Sea, from the Caucasus up to the Pontic Steppe, and over to the Danube basin and into the Balkans.

    The Dispilio tablet found in a lake in the Balkan peninsula has been dated to ca 5260 B.C. and has what appears to be written symbols on it, two millennia before Sumerian proto-writing. There were towns of thousands of people in the Danube valley millennia before the earliest urban settlements of Sumer. But Mesopotamia became known in the popular imagination as the cradle of civilization because the archaeological remains of mud brick endured in an arid climate.

    Mycenaean culture can be traced back to the north shore of the Black Sea. Troy was probably founded by peoples from the shore of the Black Sea. The Hittites probably came from the north.

    Troy was well situated to control the critical passage to the Black Sea because entering the Black Sea from the south through the strait of Marmara was difficult due to currents, and ships generally sailed close to the Trojan shoreline in order to make it through the strait.

    If we had the whole story, I'd guess quite a bit of the beginnings of Northern Mediterranean civilization had its origin in peoples coming out of the Black Sea region.

    The Black Sea region has an argument to make as the matrix of civilization.

    Agreed. From H.G. Wells’ A Short History of the World (an excellent piece, by the way, for concisely understanding things in the vein of Paglia’s hypothetical timeline on a roll of paper):

    Moving over large stretches of country the nomad took a wider view of life. He touched on the confines of this settled land and that. He was used to the sight of strange faces. He had to scheme and treat for pasture with competing tribes. He knew more of minerals than the folk upon the plough lands because he went over mountain passes and into rocky places. He may have been a better metallurgist. Possibly bronze and much more probably iron smelting were nomadic discoveries. Some of the earliest implements of iron reduced from its ores have been found in Central Europe far away from the early civilizations….

    Iron had also come now into civilization out of the north; the Hittites, the precursors of the Armenians, had it first and communicated its use to the Assyrians….

    [Af]ter about 1200 B.C. and perhaps earlier, a new set of names would come into the map of the ancient world from the north-east and from the north-west. These would be the names of certain barbaric tribes, armed with iron weapons and using horse-chariots, who were becoming a great affliction to the Ægean and Semitic civilizations on the northern borders. They all spoke variants of what once must have been the same language, Aryan.

    The Aryans raised crops of wheat, ploughing with oxen, but they did not settle down by their crops; they would reap and move on. They had bronze, and somewhen about 1500 B.C. they acquired iron. They may have been the discoverers of iron smelting. And somewhen vaguely about that time they also got the horse—which to begin with they used only for draught purposes. Their social life did not centre upon a temple like that of the more settled people round the Mediterranean, and their chief men were leaders rather than priests. They had an aristocratic social order rather than a divine and regal order; from a very early stage they distinguished certain families as leaderly and noble.

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  233. @Mr. Anon
    "I’m throwing out another possibility, albeit a controversial one. Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein, and he wrote a number of books regarding the collapses of numerous ancient civilizations – attributing them to a massive cometary bombardment that swings through here every 3,600 years or so…"

    He also thought that the plent Venus is a comet, and that the earth once stopped rotating on its axis for a few hours.

    By the way, of what relevance is it to say that " Immanuel Velikovsky was a contemporary of Einstein"? Is that supposed to lend him an aura of credibility that he otherwise wouldn't have? A lot of people fit that bill: Moe Fine was a contemporary of Einstein. So were Rudolph Hess, Gloria Swanson, Chico Marx, and L. Ron Hubbard. And I don't much care what they have to say about ancient history either.

    Hell, I don’t much care what Einstein himself would have to say about it; he had no particular expertise in the matter – he probably studied it less than I myself have.

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  234. @Twinkie

    Arrows are comically overrated in the modern mind. Know how many arrows it takes to kill even an unarmored man? A lot
     
    Don't be an idiot. I can kill YOU with ONE arrow. I've certainly killed a lot of animals over the years with arrows. Arrows - obviously depending on size, shape, and velocity - can create a HUGE wound channel with massive tissue damage and blood loss. Within its effective range, it is far deadlier than handguns, for example, with its comparatively puny wound channel and projectile weight/size.

    You really have to stop repeating this kind of nonsense and retreating to old movie footages to make your points about serious and deadly topics like weapons and military tactics.

    Plate was some serious shit.
     
    Yes it was, but plate was very expensive, and it was not possible to equip the majority of men-at-arm with plate armor. It was also heavy and made men less mobile in difficult terrain such as heavy mud.

    The point of massed arrow fire - or any pre-modern projectile fire, for that matter - was not so much to create a large number of deaths, though that could and did happen when the said fire occurred over a sustained period of time against relatively immobile targets attacked by a mobile force (e.g. horse archers). The main point of massed projectile fire was to disrupt the target's formations (create dispersion rather than concentration of men) and also to create an erosion of morale... which would then be exploited by one's melee forces, especially shock cavalry if one had such an arm.

    Absolutely. Anonymous has obviously never killed a deer with a bow. (I typically use a wooden recurve strung at about sixty pounds, not some modern, candy-pants compound bow with four pulleys like the fat, lazy people do – it still makes one Hell of a mess…).

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    not some modern, candy-pants compound bow with four pulleys like the fat, lazy people do
     
    1. No way! You are a woman unless you run after the deer barefoot, wrangle it down, and bite off its carotid artery with your own teeth! Anything else is for fat, lazy candy-pants.

    2. You must like short-range hunting.

    3. Do you find people who hunt with modern rifles over blackpowder guns less manly?

    4. In all seriousness, I use whatever works. I enjoy killing my own food. In general, I have aimed to do so with the greatest efficiency. I don't bow hunt much at all anymore, but I used to do more as well as a decent bit of archery with entirely hand- and traditionally-made recurved composite bows (I'm originally from East Asia). I prefer modern compound bows for hunting though. And, no, I am neither fat nor lazy. I've been a combat sport athlete for over four decades, and was in my prime a sparring partner for Olympic competitors and NCAA powerhouse athletes.
  235. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Twinkie

    Calvary cannot operate against organized, close-ranked Roman Legions or other phalanxes of infantry armed with spears, pikes, or bayonets.
     
    This is much too simplistic. Yes, it is true that horses don't like to run into packed masses of men. But arrows do. :)

    First of all, for much of the history of human warfare, cavalry was a skirmishing force. It was designed to ride in front of the enemy, loose some projectiles (usually javelins, later arrows fired from excellent recurved composite bows), and retreat away from return fire or enemy charge. Rinse and repeat. Then when the enemy's morale broke and began to flee, chase and cut down.

    Once heavy calvalry came into being (often credited to Parthians or Bactrians or even Macedonians, and so forth, but the consensus is somewhere around modern Persia or the regions around the Black Sea), it then became possible for an ALL-cavalry army to do something more than engage in skirmishing. The skirmishing cavalry (now with much more effective recurved composite bows) would harry, disrupt, and demoralize an infantry force, and when sufficiently weakened, the heavy cavalry could charge into the now disorganized enemy and rout him. This was even more effective if the said charge was conducted into the flanks or the rear. Note that cavalry had much greater mobility and maneuverability - it could move and hit infantry in the flanks or the rear much more easily than the other way around.

    Added to that, an all-cavalry force had much greater operational and strategic mobility - it could now intercept its enemy and/or choose where the fight took place. If its commander found the location unsuitable, it could retreat faster than the infantry force could give chase, regroup, and pick another location for battle.

    A measure of the effectiveness of organized, close-ranked Roman Legions against mobs and calvary is perhaps best illustrated when 230,000 Britains attacked 10,000 Legionnaires during the Iceni rebellion in Britain in 58 AD.
     
    230,000 Brythonic warriors is a sheer fantasy/Roman propaganda. The number of warriors in the Iceni rebellion was probably fewer than the Roman legionaries. Furthermore, while the Britons had cavalry and chariots, they were extremely expensive and probably very few in number. In any case, Brythonic cavalry at the time was a light skirmishing force and chariots were useless except on wide, flat, level ground (the main role of chariots was to ferry leaders to the battle - it was a prestige jeep, if you will).

    why Wellington’s forces arranged in infantry squares survived eleven charges of French cavalry at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
     
    Infantry squares are dandy if they contain cavalry for counter-charge and lots of firearms for launching volleys into the charging horses. Alas, the cost is zero mobility and vulnerability to missile fire (concentration of men = easy targets).

    See Carrhae: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Carrhae

    After being informed of the presence of the Parthian army, Crassus' army panicked. His general Cassius recommended that the army be deployed in the traditional Roman fashion, with infantry forming the center and cavalry on the wings. At first Crassus agreed, but he soon changed his mind and redeployed his men into a hollow square, each side formed by twelve cohorts.[19] This formation would protect his forces from being outflanked, but at the cost of mobility. The Roman forces advanced and came to a stream. Crassus' generals advised him to make camp, and attack the next morning in order to give his men a chance to rest. Publius, however, was eager to fight and managed to convince Crassus to confront the Parthians immediately.[20]

    The Parthians went to great lengths to intimidate the Romans. First they beat a great number of hollow drums and the Roman troops were unsettled by the loud and cacophonous noise. Surena then ordered his cataphracts to cover their armor in cloths and advance. When they were within sight of the Romans, they simultaneously dropped the cloths, revealing their shining armor. The sight was designed to intimidate the Romans, but Surena was impressed by the lack of effect it had.[21] Though he had originally planned to shatter the Roman lines with a charge by his cataphracts, he judged that this would not be enough to break them at this point. Thus, he sent his horse archers to surround the Roman square. Crassus sent his skirmishers to drive the horse archers off, but they were driven back by the latter's arrows. The horse archers then engaged the legionaries. The legionaries were protected by their large shields (scuta) and armor (reenactment with composite bows do not answer the question whether arrows can penetrate mail), but these could not cover the entire body. Some historians describe the arrows partially penetrating the Roman shields, and nailing the shields to the limbs of the Roman infantry. Other historians state that the majority of wounds inflicted were nonfatal hits to exposed limbs.[22] The Romans repeatedly advanced towards the Parthians to attempt to engage in close-quarters fighting, but the horse archers were always able to retreat safely, loosing Parthian shots as they withdrew. The legionaries then formed the testudo formation, in which they locked their shields together to present a nearly impenetrable front to missiles.[23] However, this formation severely restricted their ability in melee combat. The Parthian cataphracts exploited this weakness and repeatedly charged the Roman line, causing panic and inflicting heavy casualties.[24] When the Romans tried to loosen up their formation in order to repel the cataphracts, the latter rapidly retreated and the horse archers resumed shooting at the now more exposed legionnaires.[23]

    Crassus now hoped that his legionaries could hold out until the Parthians ran out of arrows.[25] However, Surena used thousands of camels to resupply his horse archers. Upon realizing this, Crassus dispatched his son Publius with 1,300 Gallic cavalry, 500 archers and eight cohorts of legionnaires to drive off the horse archers. The horse archers feigned retreat, drawing off Publius' force who suffered heavy casualties from arrow fire. Once Publius and his men were sufficiently separated from the rest of the army, the Parthian cataphracts confronted them while the horse archers cut off their retreat. In the ensuing combat the Gauls fought bravely, however their inferiority in weapons and armor was evident and they eventually retreated to a hill, where Publius committed suicide while the rest of his men were slaughtered.[26] Crassus, unaware of his son's fate but realizing Publius was in danger, ordered a general advance. He was confronted with the sight of his son's head on a spear. The Parthian horse archers began to surround the Roman infantry, shooting at them from all directions, while the cataphracts mounted a series of charges that disorganized the Romans. The Parthian onslaught did not cease until nightfall. Crassus, deeply shaken by his son's death, ordered a retreat to the nearby town of Carrhae, leaving behind thousands of wounded, who were captured by the Parthians.[27]

    The next day, Surena sent a message to the Romans, offering to negotiate with Crassus. Surena proposed a truce, allowing the Roman army to return to Syria safely in exchange for Rome giving up all territory east of the Euphrates. Surena either sent an embassy to the Romans by the hills or went himself stating he wanted a peace conference to evacuate.[28][29] Crassus was reluctant to meet with the Parthians, but his troops threatened to mutiny if he did not.[30] At the meeting, a Parthian pulled at Crassus' reins, sparking violence. Crassus and his generals were killed. After his death, the Parthians allegedly poured molten gold down his throat, in a symbolic gesture mocking Crassus' renowned greed.[31] The remaining Romans at Carrhae attempted to flee, but most were captured or killed. Roman casualties amounted to about 20,000 killed and 10,000 captured[32] making the battle one of the costliest defeats in Roman history. Parthian casualties were minimal.
     

    Carrhae was an exception. Subsequent Roman campaigns against Parthia had significantly greater success. You’re largely right but in this case Crassus was extremely foolish and Surena quite the reverse.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Carrhae was an exception.
     
    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson.

    Subsequent Roman campaigns against Parthia had significantly greater success.
     
    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson. They stuck to burning cities rather than confronting a highly mobile and powerful cavalry force in open field.

    in this case Crassus was extremely foolish and Surena quite the reverse.
     
    Generalship is always vital. The point is that no single arm is superior. A good general magnifies the strengths of his own forces - however it is composed - by exploiting the weaknesses of his enemy's. A foolish one believes in the superiority of his own forces over all others, contexts and vagaries of situations be damned.

    Modern armies do combined arms for a reason.
  236. Twinkie says:
    @Autochthon
    Absolutely. Anonymous has obviously never killed a deer with a bow. (I typically use a wooden recurve strung at about sixty pounds, not some modern, candy-pants compound bow with four pulleys like the fat, lazy people do – it still makes one Hell of a mess...).

    not some modern, candy-pants compound bow with four pulleys like the fat, lazy people do

    1. No way! You are a woman unless you run after the deer barefoot, wrangle it down, and bite off its carotid artery with your own teeth! Anything else is for fat, lazy candy-pants.

    2. You must like short-range hunting.

    3. Do you find people who hunt with modern rifles over blackpowder guns less manly?

    4. In all seriousness, I use whatever works. I enjoy killing my own food. In general, I have aimed to do so with the greatest efficiency. I don’t bow hunt much at all anymore, but I used to do more as well as a decent bit of archery with entirely hand- and traditionally-made recurved composite bows (I’m originally from East Asia). I prefer modern compound bows for hunting though. And, no, I am neither fat nor lazy. I’ve been a combat sport athlete for over four decades, and was in my prime a sparring partner for Olympic competitors and NCAA powerhouse athletes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    1. Actually, humans are the fastest animals on Earth. We're just shitty sprinters. Persistence hunting is indeed more challenging than the typical modern technique of sitting in a tree-stand smeared with urine.

    2. Yes.

    3. Less manly? If they are women, sure, but only because of their chromosomes. Less athletic and fit? No. Archery is an athletic activity, but gunplay is not; there is no significant difference between the trigger pull weights based upon the type of firearm employed. I prefer to challenge myself, and I admire more others who do. I also admire people who run marathons more than those who run fifty meter dashes, and those who ski double black diamonds more than those who cruise down the bunny slopes.

    4. Oh, an Asian Catholic. Everything is illuminated. In all seriousness, I mostly like the cut of your jib. It's nice to see someone whose knowledge of military history is informed by more than schlocky programmes on the History Channel.

  237. Twinkie says:
    @Anon
    Carrhae was an exception. Subsequent Roman campaigns against Parthia had significantly greater success. You're largely right but in this case Crassus was extremely foolish and Surena quite the reverse.

    Carrhae was an exception.

    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson.

    Subsequent Roman campaigns against Parthia had significantly greater success.

    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson. They stuck to burning cities rather than confronting a highly mobile and powerful cavalry force in open field.

    in this case Crassus was extremely foolish and Surena quite the reverse.

    Generalship is always vital. The point is that no single arm is superior. A good general magnifies the strengths of his own forces – however it is composed – by exploiting the weaknesses of his enemy’s. A foolish one believes in the superiority of his own forces over all others, contexts and vagaries of situations be damned.

    Modern armies do combined arms for a reason.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson. They stuck to burning cities rather than confronting a highly mobile and powerful cavalry force in open field.
     
    How did they avoid said cavalry force? Sacrificial feints? How did they get back home after burning the cities? Long detours?
  238. athEIst says:
    @Intelligent Dasein
    By coincidence I was lunching with my sister this afternoon, talking about this and that and the whole social question, and we got to one of those "what is the world coming to?" moments in the conversation.

    "Are you familiar with the Hyksos Period in Egypt?" I asked her. She said that she was. "Well, that's what it's coming to."

    The arrival of the Sea People, whoever they were, was very much incidental to social disintegration in Egypt at the close of the XII dynasty. What the time of the Hyksos really signifies is a condition of rootless cosmopolitanism and advanced civic decay very similar to our own. It was a century-long period of misrule by upstarts, lunatics, and irreligious brigands who set out to destroy every semblance of order in the kingdom. It is telling that the youth of the Egyptian cities (the special snowflakes of their day) joined with the foreign invaders, while people of obscure origins rose to positions of great wealth and power and trashed the temples and other civic institutions for their own personal satisfaction. Hillary Clinton, the Lying Press, and the pussy-hat marchers are all contemporary equivalents of the Hyksos.

    It is encouraging that the campaign from Thebes was eventually able to expel them and return some vestige of Egyptian civilization in the form of the New Kingdom.

    Good post, but the term rootless cosmopolitan is taken.
    Rootless cosmopolitan was a pejorative label used during the anti-Semitic campaign in the Soviet Union after World War II. Cosmopolitans were intellectuals who were accused of expressing pro-Western feelings and lack of patriotism. The term “rootless cosmopolitan” referred to Jewish intellectuals. It was popularized during the campaign in a Pravda article ….
    more at wiki.

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  239. @Twinkie

    not some modern, candy-pants compound bow with four pulleys like the fat, lazy people do
     
    1. No way! You are a woman unless you run after the deer barefoot, wrangle it down, and bite off its carotid artery with your own teeth! Anything else is for fat, lazy candy-pants.

    2. You must like short-range hunting.

    3. Do you find people who hunt with modern rifles over blackpowder guns less manly?

    4. In all seriousness, I use whatever works. I enjoy killing my own food. In general, I have aimed to do so with the greatest efficiency. I don't bow hunt much at all anymore, but I used to do more as well as a decent bit of archery with entirely hand- and traditionally-made recurved composite bows (I'm originally from East Asia). I prefer modern compound bows for hunting though. And, no, I am neither fat nor lazy. I've been a combat sport athlete for over four decades, and was in my prime a sparring partner for Olympic competitors and NCAA powerhouse athletes.

    1. Actually, humans are the fastest animals on Earth. We’re just shitty sprinters. Persistence hunting is indeed more challenging than the typical modern technique of sitting in a tree-stand smeared with urine.

    2. Yes.

    3. Less manly? If they are women, sure, but only because of their chromosomes. Less athletic and fit? No. Archery is an athletic activity, but gunplay is not; there is no significant difference between the trigger pull weights based upon the type of firearm employed. I prefer to challenge myself, and I admire more others who do. I also admire people who run marathons more than those who run fifty meter dashes, and those who ski double black diamonds more than those who cruise down the bunny slopes.

    4. Oh, an Asian Catholic. Everything is illuminated. In all seriousness, I mostly like the cut of your jib. It’s nice to see someone whose knowledge of military history is informed by more than schlocky programmes on the History Channel.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    1. Actually, humans are the fastest animals on Earth. We’re just shitty sprinters.
     
    In other words, we are excellent walkers. We are not meant to run. Our bone structure is not compatible with lots of running.

    Persistence hunting is indeed more challenging than the typical modern technique of sitting in a tree-stand smeared with urine.
     
    It's fine if you think more challenging = manlier. In a survival situation, wasting a lot of calories tracking an animal is not always the best practice. At the end of the day, people hunt for a variety of different - and valid - reasons. I don't see why I should call out someone else's hunting method as unmanly, just because he doesn't kill a wild boar with a knife (well, with some dogs too).

    In all seriousness, I mostly like the cut of your jib.
     
    Thanks for the approval.

    It’s nice to see someone whose knowledge of military history is informed by more than schlocky programmes on the History Channel.
     
    It's probably because 1) I was a military historian as a young man and 2) I got to hunt that most dangerous prey - man - in my post-academic adventures.

    Keep running that marathon and hunting with an ancient weapon. Cheers.
  240. TheJester says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...
    The barbarian invention of the saddle tree and solid stirrups allowed heavily armored cavalry armed with long lances to attack infantry with ease, even if they were formed in a protective formation. These inventions combined with compound bows were also effective against infantry, no matter how well disciplined. A Macedonian phalanx, armed with sixteen foot spears might have withstood a heavy cavalry charge. But the Roman cohort formation had made the phalanx obsolete.

    In fact the battle of Carrhae suggests that the Roman army had no good defense against barbarian cavalry with stirrups no matter how the cavalry was armed. I believe that the first effective infantry weapon against heavy cavalry was the Swiss halbred. This weapon gave infrantry "reach" over cavalry no matter how long deployable cavalry lances were. Again, my recollection is that the infantry square as Wellington knew it didn't appear on the scene until sometime not long before the Thirty Year's War. The pikes used in these early infantry squares were direct descendants of the halbred.

    Both the Greek phalanx and the Roman square were vulnerable to either cavalry or infantry on their flanks … then, the enemy “rolled up the flanks”.

    In the Greek and Roman style of formation warfare, good generalship required protecting the flanks. Roman military disasters were almost all associated with the enemy getting on the Roman flanks. This was Hannibal’s specialty.

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  241. @Twinkie

    Carrhae was an exception.
     
    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson.

    Subsequent Roman campaigns against Parthia had significantly greater success.
     
    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson. They stuck to burning cities rather than confronting a highly mobile and powerful cavalry force in open field.

    in this case Crassus was extremely foolish and Surena quite the reverse.
     
    Generalship is always vital. The point is that no single arm is superior. A good general magnifies the strengths of his own forces - however it is composed - by exploiting the weaknesses of his enemy's. A foolish one believes in the superiority of his own forces over all others, contexts and vagaries of situations be damned.

    Modern armies do combined arms for a reason.

    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson. They stuck to burning cities rather than confronting a highly mobile and powerful cavalry force in open field.

    How did they avoid said cavalry force? Sacrificial feints? How did they get back home after burning the cities? Long detours?

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    How did they avoid said cavalry force? Sacrificial feints? How did they get back home after burning the cities? Long detours?
     
    First of all, the Romans were likely much more wary of getting caught in the open in the aftermath of Carrhae. They excelled in field fortifications and building camps on the march, so I suspect they re-doubled these efforts. They probably also relied more on riverine ships for transport of troops and supplies.

    But if you looked at the subsequent history of Roman-Parthian wars, you see that many of the Roman successes crop up in another theater - the much more mountainous Armenia.

    Even so, the Romans continued to experience significant setbacks here and there (most notably during the civil wars when the Parthians overran Syria). In the end, it wasn't the Romans, but Sassanids who overthrew the Parthians.
  242. @Rob McX
    I thought the deep-fried Mars bars started as an urban myth. Apparently some chip shop owner then cashed in on the news coverage it was getting by turning it into reality (or maybe that was just part of the myth too).

    Perhaps. I admit I don’t move in those circles. I do know that deep-fried pizza is a Thing, I had one once, as emergency anti-hypothermia rations on the way up the A9 somewhere (Aviemore possibly? I was looking for some snow, old car not heated). Basically a defrosted industrial “pizza” folded calzone-style, and dunked in the boiling lard vat to heat it up. Like jazz, delicious when hot; disgusting when cool.

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  243. @biz
    Wouldn't dying a decade earlier mean that they would cost the NHS less?

    I don’t think so, as they go “on the sick” at an age when the rest of us are just getting our feet under the table at work. There’s the smoking and drinking on top of the artery diseases too. Old southern English people just retire, get doddery, and wander about in Burberry gear walking the dog or golfing till they drop of a stroke age 80+, or more likely go senile, and dead of pneumonia within say 3 years.

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  244. @Desiderius

    the catalyst for hysteria
     
    What hysteria?

    It's a straightforward takedown. The pederasty stuff was just the cover story. They're banking on people not looking at the details.

    They’re banking on people not looking at the details

    Exactly, which is why they keep repeating that he defended pedophilia.

    And after hearing that, the few people who do look into the details will see a defense where none exists.

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  245. athEIst says:
    @Anon
    "I’ve always thought it had to do with a big earthquake, or one of the various eruptions of Thera."

    Today, the tremors that uproot the new Sea Peoples are caused by the bombs and drones of the Air People.

    US power is the Air People might.
    Air People fly all over and bomb all lands and create havoc all over... like in Libya.

    So, after Air People bombed Libya, it led to political earthquake that let loose tons of Sea People into EU.

    Land People(most of us) of 'flyover country' are squeezed between Air People who loom over the world and drop globalist bombs that cause tremors that let loose Sea Peoples to invade and conquer.

    At first I thought
    Land People(most of us) of ‘flyover country’ are squeezed between Air People who loom over the world and drop globalist bombs that cause tremors that let loose Sea Peoples to invade and conquer.
    gibberish.
    at first…….

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  246. Twinkie says:
    @Johann Ricke

    Yes, because the Romans learned their lesson. They stuck to burning cities rather than confronting a highly mobile and powerful cavalry force in open field.
     
    How did they avoid said cavalry force? Sacrificial feints? How did they get back home after burning the cities? Long detours?

    How did they avoid said cavalry force? Sacrificial feints? How did they get back home after burning the cities? Long detours?

    First of all, the Romans were likely much more wary of getting caught in the open in the aftermath of Carrhae. They excelled in field fortifications and building camps on the march, so I suspect they re-doubled these efforts. They probably also relied more on riverine ships for transport of troops and supplies.

    But if you looked at the subsequent history of Roman-Parthian wars, you see that many of the Roman successes crop up in another theater – the much more mountainous Armenia.

    Even so, the Romans continued to experience significant setbacks here and there (most notably during the civil wars when the Parthians overran Syria). In the end, it wasn’t the Romans, but Sassanids who overthrew the Parthians.

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  247. Twinkie says:
    @Autochthon
    1. Actually, humans are the fastest animals on Earth. We're just shitty sprinters. Persistence hunting is indeed more challenging than the typical modern technique of sitting in a tree-stand smeared with urine.

    2. Yes.

    3. Less manly? If they are women, sure, but only because of their chromosomes. Less athletic and fit? No. Archery is an athletic activity, but gunplay is not; there is no significant difference between the trigger pull weights based upon the type of firearm employed. I prefer to challenge myself, and I admire more others who do. I also admire people who run marathons more than those who run fifty meter dashes, and those who ski double black diamonds more than those who cruise down the bunny slopes.

    4. Oh, an Asian Catholic. Everything is illuminated. In all seriousness, I mostly like the cut of your jib. It's nice to see someone whose knowledge of military history is informed by more than schlocky programmes on the History Channel.

    1. Actually, humans are the fastest animals on Earth. We’re just shitty sprinters.

    In other words, we are excellent walkers. We are not meant to run. Our bone structure is not compatible with lots of running.

    Persistence hunting is indeed more challenging than the typical modern technique of sitting in a tree-stand smeared with urine.

    It’s fine if you think more challenging = manlier. In a survival situation, wasting a lot of calories tracking an animal is not always the best practice. At the end of the day, people hunt for a variety of different – and valid – reasons. I don’t see why I should call out someone else’s hunting method as unmanly, just because he doesn’t kill a wild boar with a knife (well, with some dogs too).

    In all seriousness, I mostly like the cut of your jib.

    Thanks for the approval.

    It’s nice to see someone whose knowledge of military history is informed by more than schlocky programmes on the History Channel.

    It’s probably because 1) I was a military historian as a young man and 2) I got to hunt that most dangerous prey – man – in my post-academic adventures.

    Keep running that marathon and hunting with an ancient weapon. Cheers.

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  248. Jimmy says:
    @Glossy
    It seems that the Sea Peoples, who caused the collapse by invading the centers of civilization, came from Greece and Italy. Why do invasions like that happen when they happen is difficult to say. Why did the Viking Age happen, the Arab invasions of the 7th century, the Germanic invasions of the 5th century, the Mongol invasion, the Huns' invasion? Sometimes tribal groups rise up and start raiding.

    Maybe a strong personality united them for a while. We just don't know who the Sea People's Ghinghis Khan/Mohammed figure was because they didn't leave any records. Maybe there were other reasons.

    Climate change is to modern historians what class struggle was to Marxists and God's wrath is to theists: a lazy explanation for everything.

    The ‘Sea Peoples’ beeing Aegean/Helladic pirates is preposterous, since they had a central government in Mycenes and it had records we find even today and it doesn’t mention piracy, neither found in the Homeric lore.

    This assumption will crumble especially seeing the Ekwesh rendered as Achaeans (Peloponnesian Greeks) were circumcized like Israelites which we know the Achaeans were not.

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